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Preliminary designs, c. 1801 (2)

Notes

Drawings 151 and 152 are some of the first of the Pitzhanger designs to focus on the layout of the offices. Drawing 151 shows the entire house, but the office wing and stables are the only parts that are labelled and have clearly been reworked in Soane's hand. The offices, entered via a courtyard off the main house, include a long gallery for plaster casts.

Drawing 152 focuses completely on the offices, showing a different layout of rooms to drawing 151 and a rectangular room for plaster casts instead of a long gallery. A room for plaster casts had its origin in some of the designs for a villa at Acton, and such a room was eventually built at Pitzhanger. Virginia Brilliant's TS catalogue suggests that this room was to function as a display room for objects 'found' in the adjacent 'ruins'.

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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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