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Variant designs for the exterior of the entrance hall, mostly May 1798 (5)


As in drawings 142 to 145, drawings 155 to 159 chart the development of a single design, with each of Soane's rough pen alterations considered and included in the final. The door is initially set below a three-part segmental-arched window but this window is later omitted in favour of a door with a shallow segmental arch that is 'to correspond with segm[enta]l arch at [opposite] end of hall'. The arched door is set between pilasters framing recessed panels. A lead roof is included over the rounded wings and a pitched roof over the middle bay. An attempt is made to include vases on the stone parapet but Soane instructs his pupil to 'omit the vases' in the final design.

The exterior has a reductive Doric style, using shadow and simple ornament to produce an informed classicism in a reduced and minimal manner. Large brick triglyphs, a form of dentillation sometimes referred to as 'toothing', are under the projecting eaves. The pilasters have simple rectilinear capitals and shadow gaps at their bases to give an indication of their classical origins.



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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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Contents of Variant designs for the exterior of the entrance hall, mostly May 1798 (5)