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The Cosmic House

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Event description

Join the BIID for a tour of the late Charles Jencks' home, The Cosmic House, a contemporary parallel to Sir John Soane’s House completed a century and a half earlier.

Both houses were intended as expressions of personality, ideas, and as tools for teaching and illustrating the history and potential of architecture. Like Sir John Soane’s House, The Cosmic House has its own complex narrative, a story which unwinds as the visitor wanders around and in which the house itself becomes a character.

Densely packed with ideas, symbols and motifs, its architecture embraces an entire cosmos of architectural allusion, history, metaphor, and reference. Switching between pop and classical culture, between high art and accessible kitsch, it became a built manifesto for the architecture that emerged in reaction to the slowly solidifying canon of Modernism as it faded in the late mid-century. Designed in collaboration with architect (Sir) Terry Farrell, and built between 1978 and 1983, the house became a forum for conversation and dialogue at the epicentre of the Post-Modern moment and the cultural discourse around ideas, history, science, and aesthetics.


Guests will be introduced via a short introduction and a 10-minute video, discussing the house, Charles Jencks, and Post-modernism. The following tour will be a self-led excursion around the house, with each visitor given a brochure to keep which will act as guide.


Charles Alexander Jencks (21 June 1939 – 13 October 2019) was an American cultural theorist, landscape designer, architectural historian, and co-founder of the Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres. He published over thirty books and became famous in the 1980s as theorist of Postmodernism. Jencks devoted time to landform architecture, especially in Scotland. These landscapes include the Garden of Cosmic Speculation and earthworks at Jupiter Artland outside Edinburgh. His continuing project Crawick Multiverse, commissioned by the Duke of Buccleuch, opened in 2015 near Sanquhar.


This event is open to BIID Registered Interior Designers, Associates, Provisional Associates, BIID Student members, Affiliates, Retired Members, Dual International Members and Employees of BIID Registered Design Practices. Tickets are limited to two per guest. If you would like to bring a friend please book two tickets. Tickets not purchased by a member of one of the categories above will be cancelled and the BIID will incur a cancellation fee. 

Additional Information

Visitor information and accessibility can be found here

If this event is fully booked, please join the waiting list. If you are no longer able to attend, please inform the office so that we can give your spot to someone else.

The advertised price does not include VAT.

If you have any queries, please email the office at or call 020 7628 0255.

By booking a ticket to this event you are agreeing to the BIID event terms and conditions

Photo Credit: Sue Barr 

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