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  • image SM volume 42/126

Reference number

SM volume 42/126


Sketch design


Elevation of a 15-bay building, the nine-bay, two-storey centre with a hexastyle portico is flanked by three-bay wings (almost as wide as the centre) each with three very tall and wide arched openings. The right-hand wing has a colonnaded upper storey with a dome. At each end is the profile of a porticoed entrance


Medium and dimensions

Brown pen on laid paper with three fold marks (201 x 252)




? Taylor (pasted down)


The sketchy indications of a landscape suggest a country site and the drawing has been listed in the past as a 'design for a large country house'. The discordant scale of the centre to its wings and particularly to the tall domed wing is worrying as is the asymmetrical affect of the latter. However the left-hand wing has some sketchy vertical lines that suggest an alternative balancing storey to the right-hand domed structure. A noticeable feature is the number of entrances and the general permeability of the design. If this is a public building, it is difficult to establish its function. Mausolea were built in the countryside but this design does not relate to Soane's other designs for that building type. For ? related designs see 42/132.



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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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