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image SM volume 111/26

Reference number

SM volume 111/26

Purpose

Presentation design for the house

Aspect

Plan at ground-floor level

Scale

10 feet to 1 ¾ inches (double the scale of 1)

Inscribed

In pencil by Arthur Bolton (1920s-30s), at bottom right centre, Note / This appear to be no 33 Plan drawn to larger scale with some variation. / say 6 feet to 1 inch ...[calculations - indicating an error in his scale, for the overall length comes out at 228 instead of 220]

Signed and dated

1713

Medium and dimensions

Pen and grey ink with grey and some pink wash, over pencil under drawing, on three joined sheets of thick laid paper; 401 x 1049

Hand

James Gibbs

Watermark

Strasbourg Lily = IV

Notes

In this final, presentation design for the house, Gibbs revised the layout of the library wing and its adjoining staircase and widened the plan of the main house, pulling it back from the rear wall and extending it into the compartments either side. A combined entrance and staircase hall occupies five of the seven bays at the front of the house, and the secondary staircase is enlarged and placed in a separate bay to the left of the main block. The library is now in the upper floor of the wing. A new door in the centre of the side elevation leads to a central passage, which gives access to two narrow rooms in rear half of the wing and a single large room in the front half. These spaces are unheated and were probably intended for the display of books or objects. This passage is a continuation of the main corridor and crosses the library staircase, as in 1. This staircase now a single hemicycle with its back to the front of the house. The inner niches have been removed, giving enough wall depth for small spiral staircase between the hemicycle and the library. The arrangement at this end of the plan suggests a library wing with separate public access through the middle door. The main stair led to the principal library space at the upper level, and the spiral stair gave private access for a custodian or keeper. A first-floor location was usual for a library in an urban or collegiate context this period, as it provided better natural light. In the main house, the principal staircase has been turned through 90 degrees and is approached through a columnar screen. The service wing is little altered. The overall length of the front of the house remains the same at 220 feet.

Literature

Redrawn by Arthur Bolton in Wren Society, XII (1935), pl. 38, bottom

Level

Drawing

Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

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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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