The Architecture Drawing Prize Exhibition continues to celebrate the art of drawing at Sir John Soane’s Museum


Soane Museum exhibition 2023. Image credit Gareth Gardner.jpgSoane Museum exhibition 2023. Image credit: Gareth Gardner

Sir John Soane’s Museum opens the Architecture Drawing Prize Exhibition showcasing the prize winners and shortlisted entries for the 2022 Prize, which attracted 138 entries, and a strong majority of hand-drawn entries. As ever, the submissions are from around the world, attesting to the truly international nature of the Prize and the great skill and originality of entrants.

Fitzroy Food Institute by Samuel Wen and Michael Ren has been named the overall winner of the 2022 Architecture Drawing Prize. Awarded by the World Architecture Festival, Make Architects, and Sir John Soane’s Museum, the winning drawing was selected from the three winners of the prize’s main categories: hand-drawn, hybrid, and digital.

Overall Winners Samuel Wen (left) Michael Ren (right)..jpg

Overall Winners: Samuel Wen (left) Michael Ren (right).

Fitzroy Food Institute explores themes of cultural perception, tradition and globalization. The drawing presents a top-down view of a ‘typically’ Chinese round-table dining setting. Separate presentation drawings – plans, sections, details, perspectives, diagrams and son on – are reimagined into a composite drawing, exploring a dumpling-making process that places itself beyond the kitchen and engages with its greater context.

Samuel Wen and Michael Ren are both Master of Architecture students at the University of Melbourne. The drawing was produced as part of a studio mentored by Samuel Hunter and Danielle Peck. Fitzroy Food Institute focused on designing a dumpling institute that deviated from an orientalist attitude towards Chinese culture, with the tabletop drawing reflecting communal values and cultural heritage.

Soane Museum exhibition 2023. Image credit Gareth Gardner 02.jpg

Bruce Boucher, Director of Sir John Soane's Museum comments: ’This annual exhibition has become a showcase for the best in contemporary draughtsmanship across media, which remains central to architectural practice today, and with architectural drawing such an important part of our collection, Sir John Soane’s Museum is proud to be the venue for exhibiting the Architecture Drawing Prize’.

Ken Shuttleworth, Founder of Make Architects who initiated the Prize says: “Drawing is a special tie, a strong common ground between architects and artists. Our studio’s role in promoting drawing is an important way for us to explain and celebrate the design process while continuing to explore the elements that make architecture special.”

As part of the Prize programme, finalists and winners are exhibited at Sir John Soane's Museum. This year, the exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum includes a virtual retrospective of the Prize by Make Architects that will be projected in the Museum’s Foyle Space. Both the exhibited drawings in the Museum’s galleries and the virtual retrospective celebrate how communicating ideas or design concepts effectively are at the heart of what makes a strong architectural drawing, be it purely conceptual or relating to a project intended to be built.

The 2022 Prize Exhibition at Sir John Soane's Museum

Drawing was pivotal to Sir John Soane’s architecture, both in his practice and his teaching. The Museum’s extensive collection is testament to Soane’s use of drawing to explore, challenge and teach. The Architecture Drawing Prize continues this tradition, showcasing new work that celebrates draughtsmanship, skill, and innovation.

The 2022 Architecture Drawing Prize is accompanied by a display of drawings and implements that belonged to Soane and his pupils. Highlighting the restoration of The Drawing Office, the earliest surviving example of a working architectural office, the display will link the vitality and importance of drawing in Soane’s day to the ambition and craft that continues to underpin architectural drawing practice today.There is also a reading table in the gallery with books selected by the Museum’s curators. Visitors are encouraged to take time to sit and read about architecture, drawing and history – making the exhibition a site for ideas and learning, reiterating Soane’s description of his house-museum as an ‘academy of architecture’.

Erin McKellar, Assistant Curator at Sir John Soane’s Museum says: “The Architecture Drawing Prize offers a unique opportunity to connect contemporary practice to Soane’s work. This is particularly important this year, as we prepare to reopen Soane’s Drawing Office to visitors and welcome contemporary artists in residence, who also use drawing as part of their work.”

The virtual exhibition revisits some of the most impressive and innovative submissions to The Architecture Drawing Prize since its launch in 2017, featuring more than 30 drawings across 12 digital rooms. It can be accessed here

Courtesy The Architecture Drawing Prize and Sir John Soane’s Museum, edited by CAFA ART INFO.