10, Downing Street

I had forgotten that one is required to relinquish one’s mobile phone on entering 10, Downing Street in case someone might be tempted to take a samizdat photograph of the Soane ‘eating room’ with its fine, star-fish, cross-axial moulding, designed by Soane in 1825 for Frederick John Robinson, the Chancellor of the Exchequer (it was not yet necessarily the residence of the First Lord of the Treasury).   The rest of it presumably bears the hallmarks of its renovation by Raymond Erith in the late 1950s after bombing in the war, and a modest amount of tarting up by Mrs. Thatcher.   Not a wholly obvious venue to celebrate the world of contemporary design.

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