- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
The ground floor plan, drawing 44, has the final design for the principal corridor, having paired arches framing the top-lit tribune and irregular-plan alcoves at both ends of the corridor although it is approximately 9 feet 7 inches wide rather than the executed 10½ feet wide corridor and wider principal staircase to correspond. Certain parts of the drawing are still for an early design, such as the principal staircase and the inclusion of Mr Prade's room at the north-east corner. Mr Praed's room was eventually included in the detached office court, with a direct communication to the principal stairwell via a linking passage. The door from Praed's Room to the office lobby included in drawing 44 is blocked up in later designs. The basement plan, drawing 43, is also for an early design, as it has groin vaults that vary from the executed design.
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.
Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).