Sir John Soane’s London house in Lincoln’s Inn Fields (1792–1837) is surely one of the most extraordinary didactic interiors imaginable for architects and designers alike. The house manages to conjure a monumental scale within confined spaces and exploits innovative architectural inventions to create a visually multi-layered experience and sequencing of space.
For us, Soane’s use of light and mirrors is the most distinctive aspect of the museum interior. Many of the principle rooms are delightfully augmented and subtly rendered with natural lighting effects and carefully positioned mirrors. Perhaps seen to greatest effect in the Library-Dining Room and Breakfast Room.
We were fascinated to later learn that cataracts and failing eyesight may have been the impetus behind his innovative use of filtered coloured daylight and the myriad mirrors that are used to raise ambient light levels within the house.
This wonderful book contains a scholarly text by Stefan Buzas with fabulous atmospheric and immersive photographs by Richard Bryant.
Sir John Soane’s Museum, London – ISBN 3-8030-2714-4eprint)