PREVIEW: The Return of the Past: Postmodernism in British Architecture, Sir John Soane’s Museum

It has been announced that Sir John Soane’s Museum will present an exhibition exploring post modernist British architecture from the 16th May. 

L-R: Cross Dixon Gold Jones Samson Architects, St Mark’s Road, London, 1979. Credit: Dixon Jones Architects, Terry Farrell, SIS Building, London, completed 1994. Credit: Nigel Young, CZWG Architects, China Wharf, London, 1988. Credit: John and Jo Peck. 

On display from the 16th May, The Return of the Past: Postmodernism in British Architecture will concentrate specifically at its early ‘radical moment’ during the late 1970s and early 1980s, showcasing a selection of important works by important architects such as Terry Farrell, CZWG, Jeremy Dixon, John Outram, and James Stirling.

The exhibition will explore how postmodernism first emerged as  a reaction to the effects of modernism on British towns and cities, and also as a way of moving beyond its intellectual and stylistic confines.

Projects featured in the display will include Terry Farrell’s SIS Building, Vauxhall and TVam, Camden; the Cascades and China Wharf by CZWG; Jeremy and Fenella Dixon’s St Mark’s Road, Kensington and the Royal Opera House scheme by Jeremy Dixon BDP and later Dixon Jones BDP; No. 1 Poultry James Stirling Michael Wilford; and the Isle of Dogs Storm Water Pumping Station and the New House, Wadhurst Park by John Outram.

The Return of the Past will feature a range of drawings, models, paintings, photographs, press-clippings, brochures, books, furniture and fragments of actual buildings, many of which have never been exhibited publicly.

Talking about the exhibition Bruce Boucher, Director, Sir John Soane’s Museum said: “As part of Sir John Soane’s Museum’s continuing exploration of the centrality of architecture to contemporary life, this exhibition is an important opportunity to profile some of the great examples of Postmodernism in Britain. Soane was an inspiration to many architects of this generation, and we look forward to exploring their work in both the Museum’s exhibition galleries and adjoining Soane-designed period interiors. This will forge a rich, complex and at times surprising dialogue with the Museum and Soane’s own relationship to the architectural past.”

The Return of the Past: Postmodernism in British Architecture will be on display at Sir John Soane’s Museum from the 16th May until the 26th August. For more information visit:

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