Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery reopens after restoration

Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing has reopened to the public after a lengthy period of restoration. The Regency Manor, built between 1800 and 1804, is a rare and spectacular example of a building designed, built and lived in by the Neo Classical architect Sir John Soane.

Soane was a friend of Prime Minister William Pitt, who he met on his Grand Tour. He redesigned the Bank of England and designed several public buildings in London and Dublin, including Dulwich Picture Gallery, the first purpose built public art gallery in Britain, as well as creating country homes for the landed gentry. Pitzhanger Manor was his country retreat, built to showcase his skills as an architect, and designed around his collection of art and antiquities, which included Hogarth’s series of paintings A Rake’s Progress. It was where he entertained his clients and influential friends.

In 1939 Ealing’s public lending library was built on the site of Soane’s kitchen block. This has now been upgraded to create Pitzhanger Gallery, ‘a beautiful display space flooded with natural light’.

Image above: Pitzhanger Manor, Joseph Gandy, 1800 © Sir John Soane’s Museum, London

Image above: Anish Kapoor, Sphere with Oval Hole, Stainless Steel

The Gallery, which opened at the weekend, will present three exhibitions a year of work by artists, designers and architects, each offering a new perspective on Soane’s ideas and architecture. In the first of these exhibitions, Anish Kapoor presents a series of sculptures that echo Soane’s complex use of mirrors and light to double and dissolve space.

The Anish Kapoor exhibition runs 16 March -18 August at Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, Mattock lane, Ealing, W5 5EQ.