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Soane spectacular

T here was a glittering turnout at the Royal Academy for the splendid Piers Gough-designed Soane show, coming full-circle from his Lutyens show in the early 1980s which, some say, marked the introduction of the neo-classicism and post-modernism which dominated architectural discourse in a less than productive way for more than a decade. Curiously there is a link to the Edwardian era: it turns out that one of the ceilings displayed in the Soane exhibition has been wrongly identified and is in fact thoroughly Edwardian. Not that this matters, since this is the best architectural show at the ra for years. Sponsor Ibstock must have been delighted with the turnout. I noticed culture minister Alan Howarth chatting to Commission for Architecture chairman Stuart Lipton, while ra president Sir Philip Dowson made an exemplary host to guests including Margaret Richardson, Marco Goldschmied, Ted Cullinan, Nick Grimshaw, Robin Nicholson, Cedric Price and John Harris. From the riba Library and Drawings collection, Ruth Kamen and Neil Bingham looked as though the burden of the collection's impending move to the v&a has yet to weigh them down. A good speech by Richard MacCormac marked his own special interest in Soane; later this month an installation by him, along with others by Richard Meier and Rafael Moneo, will grace the Soane Museum. Sir John, who was a student at the ra Schools, would be very happy.

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