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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 November, 2003, 13:06 GMT
Room 101 immortalised in plaster
Rachel Whiteread's Untitled (Room 101)

The room thought to have inspired George Orwell's Room 101 in his bleak novel 1984 has been immortalised by Turner Prize winner Rachel Whiteread.

The artist made a plastercast of Room 101 of the BBC's Broadcasting House, widely believed to have been the office adopted for his torture chamber.

The cast goes on display to the public at London's V&A museum from Friday.

The original office has since been demolished as part of a major redevelopment of the building.

Orwell's torture chamber was thought to have been inspired by his two years working for the BBC during World War II.

In 1984 the mysterious Room 101 is described as "the worst thing in the world".

Rachel Whiteread
Rachel Whiteread won the Turner Prize in 1993
Although it is popular belief that Broadcasting House inspired his nightmarish vision, others think Room 101 of the BBC's Portland Place building was really the basis because Orwell would have attended meetings there.


The project manager of the redevelopment of Broadcasting House, Robert Seatter, believes it was "probably a conflation of ideas that inspired Orwell".

Whiteread's signature has become creating casts of buildings and objects with differing materials including concrete, rubber and resin.

She was commissioned to fill the empty plinth in London's Trafalgar Square, which she did with a water-clear resin cast of the inside of the granite plinth itself.

And her Turner Prize win in 1993 for her work House was a cast of the interior of the last remaining house of a late-19th Century terrace in east London.

Trafalgar Square sculpture unveiled
04 Jun 01  |  Entertainment
Why Orwell Still Matters
03 Jul 02  |  UK News

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