About

We are a laboratory of Post-Modern culture that frames architecture in its most universal context, to understand how the man-made is an expression of our cosmic existence.*

The newly established Jencks Foundation opened The Cosmic House to the public for the first time in September 2021. The foundation acts as a cultural laboratory to promote critical experimentation in historical and artistic research. Our programme is organized around an annual theme and developed through an exhibition, new commissions, residencies, salons and seminars, which, in turn, feed the foundation’s future public programme.

The Jencks Foundation will also catalogue and preserve Charles Jencks’ archive and extensive library, as the key site of the laboratory programme. The house contains Charles’ archive from his work as a historian, critic, land artist and co-founder of Maggies Cancer Caring Centres. The foundation will open these resources to the public to encourage study of the architecture and culture of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

* Poetry and physics (art and science) come together in the Post-Modern science of Cosmology. The Jencks Foundation understands that humans are always creating and searching for meaning. We celebrate and plot this meaningful project with a focus on the polyphonic (with pluralistic voices), the ecological (self-organising and networked), the timely (contemporary but with historical and projective perspective), the ironic (or not?), and through all semiotic systems (symbols, signs, and signifiers).

JENCKS FOUNDATION TEAM

Lily Jencks (Director)
Eszter Steierhoffer (Artistic Director)
Jessica Lawson (Project Coordinator)
Anya Smirnova (Curatorial Assistant)
Umut Kav (Archive Assistant)
Ian Fowles (Museum Manager)
Marie Hawkins (Museum Assistant)

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Lily Jencks
Louisa Jencks
Catherine Ince
Orlando Rock

STEERING GROUP

Edwin Heathcote, Keeper of Meaning and Chair of Steering Group, with Richard Calvocoressi and Madelon Vriesendorp

The Jencks Foundation is a registered charity (1197265) and is a company limited by guarantee (13496093) registered in England and Wales. Registered address: The Cosmic House, 19 Lansdowne Walk, London W11 3AH.

Charles Jencks

Charles Jencks (1939–2019) was a writer, critic, designer and teacher whose work defined and refined the disparate and wide-reaching ideas behind Post Modernism. Arguably the most widely-read and influential writer on architecture of the late twentieth century, his books were pivotal in explaining, illuminating and developing the often complex ideas behind Post Modernism. The Cosmic House was a physical manifestation of those ideas incorporating and metabolising references to developments in art history and science, philosophy, cosmology and the body. For the archival copy of Jencks’ website, containing his own presentation of his work please visit here.