Pitzhanger Manor is in West London and recently reopened to the public after a three-year restoration. The budget for the project was a staggering £12M.
From 1800 to 1804 Sir John Soane, one of Britain’s most influential architects, designed and built Pitzhanger Manor as his dream country retreat. He built Pitzhanger to showcase his skills as an architect, and designed it around his eclectic and growing collection of art and antiquities.
But first and foremost it was a place of entertainment, where he could host clients and influential friends at dinners and large garden parties, or simply to fish in his lake.
In 1939 the local public lending library was built on the site of the kitchen block. (This was the building the author Nevil Shute referenced when characters were in the public library.) This has now been upgraded to create Pitzhanger Gallery, a beautiful display space flooded with natural light. Its first exhibition is by Anish Kapoor, who is presenting a series of sculptures that echo Soane’s complex use of mirrors and light to double and dissolve space.
Sir John’s Central London home is also now a museum.