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Six variant designs, January-February 1807 (7)


Of the seven drawings only drawing 26 uses the convention of red wash for new work and sepia for old. From that drawing it can be seen that the entrance and the existing two rooms on the east side (labelled drawing room and library) are to be kept though the entrance hall or vestibule is differently re-modelled in each of the six designs. All else (save for the servants hall block) is to be demolished and rebuilt. On the south side, all of the designs have a bowed 'Breakfast or Ante Room', two out of four designs with a corresponding apsidal end making the room plan a stretched oval. To the west of the breakfast room is the eating room, rectangular on plan except for 'Design No 3' which has a shallow bow on the inward side. The offices, on the west side, include a new kitchen wing across the court from the existing servants hall to the north. 'Mr Thornton's Room' displaced by the new dining room is now located on the north side (as proposed in drawings 17-20) and (drawings 23, 24, 26, 29) has direct access. The core of the house with best stair, servants stair, hall, internal court, passages and lobbies varies in each design. The stair is imperial (drawings 23, 24 and 26) or stretched half-turn (25, 27, 29 ) and a variant stretched half-turn with four flights and three landings (28). The servants' stair is an open-well with quarter landings except for drawing 26 which has a straight stair.
Variant design 'No. 2' (drawing 25) has some slight revisions in Soane's hand: the library has a rough pencil amendment of two swept corners to the chimney-piece wall and (pen) a ceiling design and shallow niches for part of the passage beyond the 'Best Staircase'.
See also drawing 35 for a copy of Soane's 'missing' design 'No 5'.



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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 Six variant designs, January-February 1807 (7)