- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Drawings 9 and 10 are closely related. Sketches on drawing 9 reduce the height of the pilaster piers, and places a parapet at the base of the end-bay lunettes to make segmental arches. There are further rough sketches for the design of the central lantern. These alterations appear fully drawn out in drawing 10. Penciling in the left lunette, including a broad X, appears to indicate Soane's uncertainty about how to handle this part of the design. The addition of the upper-rooms lowers the end-bay vaults below the level of the lunettes, as shown in drawing 10, making the segmental lunettes obsolete except for lighting new upper passages over the hall's corners leading into the upper rooms. The broad, segmental lunette in the centre of the drawing would have lit the upper room over the hall's western arm.
The glazing of the lantern and the fan-lighting of the lunettes also relates drawing 9 to drawing 7, a column-flue design. Drawing 10 also shows the glazing and the truss-work of the lantern, though not precisely as executed.
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).