8490 - New digital resource puts Sir John Soane's Museum at the fingertips - London


Explore Soane involves a ‘fly-through’ of the Museum’s rooms.
Sir John Soane’s Museum, one of London’s most unusual museums, is now more accessible than ever before thanks to a new digital resource which allows people from around the world to visit the Museum from the comfort of their own home.

The Soane, in partnership with UK-based creative studio ScanLAB Projects, have used the latest in 3D scanning technology to create a perfect online digital replica of the Museum. Through a newly-launched website – explore.soane.org - visitors can now virtually discover key rooms from the Museum, and learn more about a number of objects from the collection.

Currently two rooms can be discovered in detail on Explore Soane: the Model Room, which houses Soane’s collection of architectural models of ancient and contemporary buildings; and the Sepulchral Chamber, the centrepiece of which is a 3,500 year old sarcophagus of Egyptian King Seti I. The latest web technologies have been used to allow users to interact with these rooms in 3D, selecting objects for a closer inspection – such as cork and plaster models of the Temple of Vesta in Italy – which can be explored from all angles in unprecedented levels of detail.

Explore Soane, funded by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), builds upon the ethos and values of the Museum’s founder, who wanted his house and collection to inspire creativity and curiosity. This is now possible without having to physically visit the Museum. Visitors to the site are encouraged to download the 3D Models and hi-res images of objects, for their personal use - whether for academic research or to create their own artworks.

Sir John Soane’s Museum was built by distinguished 19th century architect Sir John Soane, it was a home, library and museum in one – housing his collection of artworks, sculptures, furniture and artefacts. At his death in 1837, Soane left his house and collection to the British nation, stipulating that it should be kept open and free for the public’s inspiration and education, and preserved exactly as he had arranged it. Explore Soane continues this ambition in a powerful new way.

Bruce Boucher, Director of Sir John Soane’s Museum says: “Soane built his Museum to inspire, to be an engine for the advancement of the arts and architecture. Visitors would come and see objects from around the world that they would never have been able to see otherwise. Now, thanks to the latest technology, we can extend this ethos as never before and take the Museum out to the world. Anyone with a computer or mobile device, even thousands of miles away, can explore this magnificent building and its collection for themselves. Soane would be thrilled.”

Schools worldwide are encouraged to get involved with the Soane by using the specially created online resources, allowing teachers to transport their classrooms to the London Museum.