Award-winning studio and RIBA Chartered Practice Studio MUTT, based at Liverpool’s Stanley Dock, bring the elaborate writings of Sir John Soane to life with In Character, an upcoming exhibition at RIBA North.

First exhibited at Sir John Soane’s Museum, this exhibition gives life to four characters as architectural compositions of ornament, colour and form; a Lawyer, a Monk, a Magician and an Architect. These characters are based on Sir John Soane’s Crude Hints Towards an History of My House, an elaborate text in which he imagined his home as a ruined building in the future, inspected by visitors who speculate on its origins and function.

Studio MUTT reveals how ornamentation, colour and form can communicate and give life to buildings of all scales. The pieces on display exist somewhere between a large architectural model or a very small building in scale, and aim to move beyond mere representation or speculation. Bright colours, playful imagery and cryptic objects offer visitors the opportunity to consider how architecture can communicate to us as inhabitants.

Owen Hopkins, Senior Curator of Exhibitions and Education at the Soane Museum:

“The Soane Museum aims to offer a platform for new and emerging practitioners who offer fresh and innovative ideas and approaches. Studio MUTT fit this bill entirely: their project playfully reinterprets one of Soane’s more enigmatic accounts of the Museum in a way that also speaks to wider concerns in architectural theory and practice. We are delighted that the project is travelling to RIBA North where the four characters created by MUTT will be able to extend their conversation to a new audience in powerful and provocative ways.”

Director of RIBA North, Suzy Jones:

In Character may prove to be a rather surreal experience for our visitors. At first the Gallery could seem quite empty, there is a large black cylindrical curtain in the middle of the room, but as you slip through the curtain visitors sneak up on four strange, brightly decorated architectural characters, gathered around a fireplace in the middle of a wood with a silver horizon. Through reinterpreting these characters at RIBA North, Studio MUTT has given a poignant interpretation of the influence of one’s character to design. In Character is quite a departure from our previous exhibitions, but is part of an exciting programme of activity here at RIBA North over the coming months.”

A launch event on 21 March will feature speeches from James Crawford from Studio MUTT and Owen Hopkins from Sir John Soane’s Museum, offering an insight into the characters that form the subject of the exhibition and those who helped realise these bold creations. We are delighted to extend an invitation to the launch of this intriguing exhibition to you. Please confirm your attendance by registering here.

Find out more about Studio Mutt, Soane, and RIBA North here. In Character opens to the public 22 March at RIBA North, 21 Mann Island, Liverpool, L3 1BP