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  • image SM 40/4/12

Reference number

SM 40/4/12


[24] Rough variant design for the new building


Ground floor plan


bar scale of 2/7 inch to 1 foot


labelled (in Soane's hand): Centre of / Arch below, D[itt]o (3 times), For craning / goods above / & below, trap open this / side, Shew board, brick up / this / doorcase / in the / finishg, (pencil) Strong Closet, Centre / of / Arch below (twice), (pencil) Remember Pump, *Fix crane at*, No 99999th design for Fountain Court - supposed to be the / last!!!, Heights of these doors / not less than 7 feet 6, Settled with Messrs Peters & R. April 8 1805 and some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 6 April 1805
    April 6th 1805

Medium and dimensions

Pen and pencil, pricked for transfer on wove paper (730 x 538)




1801 / J Whatman


This rough design was drawn by Soane himself and shows an alternative design for the ground floor without the semicircular warehouse to the rear or the court at the centre of the building. Instead the back wall is straight, as in Soane's initial design (drawing [4]). Soane's inscriptions refer to the anchoring of cranes and the centre points of the arches at basement level. The architect was evidently beginning to run out of patience by the time that this drawing was made, labelling it as the 'No 99999th design for Fountain Court - supposed to be the last!!!'. Soane's note suggests that many more designs were produced than the 20 or so that survive today, though this one was, presumably, the last as according to another note it was settled with the client on 8 April 1805.



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Sir John Soane's collection includes some 30,000 architectural, design and topographical drawings which is a very important resource for scholars worldwide. His was the first architect’s collection to attempt to preserve the best in design for the architectural profession in the future, and it did so by assembling as exemplars surviving drawings by great Renaissance masters and by the leading architects in Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries and his near contemporaries such as Sir William Chambers, Robert Adam and George Dance the Younger. These drawings sit side by side with 9,000 drawings in Soane’s own hand or those of the pupils in his office, covering his early work as a student, his time in Italy and the drawings produced in the course of his architectural practice from 1780 until the 1830s.

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