Design model for Easton Neston, Northamptonshire, 1694
Architect: Nicholas Hawksmoor
Image © RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collections
In the collections of the RIBA are a wealth of architectural models representing five centuries of architectural history. Amongst the oldest is a model made in the 1690s of Nicholas Hawksmoor's country house Easton Neston, Northamptonshire. Few models survive from earlier periods which makes this the most important 17th-century English architectural model for a country house still in existence. It can be diassembled; the roof and each floor can be removed in turn to reveal interior details such as staircases, chimneybreasts and columns. It is on display in the RIBA Architecture Study Rooms at the V&A.
There are models from throughout the 20th century, including examples from Alsop & Lyall, Daniel Libeskind, Berthold Lubetkin, Leslie Martin and Jørn Utzon. There are significant holdings of models from the offices of Ernö Goldfinger and Denys Lasdun. More recently, models made in 2010 of Charles Holden's London Underground stations were added to the collections. These were originally created for the Underground Journeys exhibition from the V&A + RIBA Architecture Partnership.
Where can they be seen?
Some of the RIBA's models are on public display:
Check the online catalogue or contact the team at the Drawings and Archives Collections in advance to find out more about what is held in the collections and about access.
Models in the V&A + RIBA Architecture Gallery
There are around 20 models from the RIBA on permanent public display in the Architecture Gallery. Located in the Victoria and Albert Museum, entry to the gallery and the rest of the museum is free. Additional information about the models on display can be found in the V&A's architects' models guide.
Examples of models in the gallery:
Medieval Wealden timber-framed house
Made by Michael Sadler, 1985
Model of St Martin-in-the-Fields, 1721
Architect and artist: James Gibbs
Coal Exchange, London, 1847
Architect: James Bunstone Bunning
Sea and Ships Pavilion, Festival of Britain
Architects: Basil Spence & Partners and
Freeman Fox & Partners, 1951
Cantilever structure for a wing hangar, Heathrow Airport, 1952
Architect: Sir Owen Williams
Rowlett Street Housing, London, 1963
Architect: Ernö Goldfinger
All images © RIBA, British Architectural Library