Tombs With A View At Sir John Soane’s Museum

By Stuart Black Last edited 41 months ago
Tombs With A View At Sir John Soane’s Museum
Nathan Webb - Immortality Mask
Nathan Webb - Immortality Mask

The mausoleum the architect Sir John Soane designed for his wife Elizabeth in 1816 is probably the most famous one in London. Not the tomb itself perhaps, but the shape and design were lifted a century later by Giles Gilbert Scott when he was drawing up plans for his iconic red telephone box.

Much of Soane's work had a sepulchral feel, from the windowless vaults of the Bank of England to his own house in Lincoln's Inn Fields with its strange necropolis-like corridors and basement rooms dedicated to the sarcophagus of the Egyptian Pharaoh Seti I, and also a skeleton made up of the bones of different people.

A new exhibition which opens in December at Sir John Soane's Museum channels the great man's fascination with the architecture of death. Ten models derived from a competition organised by the museum in conjunction with boundary-pushing designers Bompas & Parr have been selected, after a call out earlier in the year, asking for people to have "a fresh look on death". You can see the winners, which are currently being conjured into reality with the magic of 3D printing, in the gallery above.

Designs that didn't make the grade included a monolith made of Lego, a giant tennis ball, a sock and designs dedicated to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

The models will go under the hammer at a charity auction on the 5 December, but will remain in place as part of the Monumental Masonry exhibition which runs in the museum from 6 December 2014-5 January 2015. Free entry.

Last Updated 22 November 2014