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Three variant preliminary designs, 14-15 May 1791 (3)


Soane's office 'Journal No 1' (p.148) has an entry for 7 May 1791: 'Mr Soane left London for Ireland this evening retddMay 24'. It seems that Soane took with him office-made ground floor plans derived from the survey drawings (drawings 6-7) and used them as the basis for his variant designs A, B and C.

Soane's reference to: 'The Hall May be warmed from below by a Grecian stove then emitting the heat through a patera in the Centre of the Hall, & also in the Staircase from the same stove in another patera' refers to a method of warm air heating that was to be used for the main circulation areas. In this method 'air is drawn past a stove, warmed by it, and conveyed by flues to rooms, which are directly heated by convection. Thus a common stove could be transformed into a central system when coupled with flues.' (T.Willmert, 'Heating methods and their impact on Soane's work ...', Journal of Society of Architectural Historians, 1993, LII, p.29).

Although Soane offers three variant designs, the plan-form is more or less the same. The family apartments and reception rooms are now on the south side of the house contained within a rectangular block with projecting 'pavilions' to the south-east and south-west. The domestic offices are now on the north side of the house and laid out on a three-sided plan concealed within a semicircular screen wall.



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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 Three variant preliminary designs, 14-15 May 1791 (3)