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image Image 1 for SM (1) volume 73/4 (2) volume 73/3
image Image 2 for SM (1) volume 73/4 (2) volume 73/3
  • image Image 1 for SM (1) volume 73/4 (2) volume 73/3
  • image Image 2 for SM (1) volume 73/4 (2) volume 73/3

Reference number

SM (1) volume 73/4 (2) volume 73/3


Preliminary alternative designs for the Printing Office Court, one dated 26 August 1803 (2)


1 Plan of part of the existing buildings and the proposed offices part of the existing buildings and of the proposed north-west offices 2 Plan of part of the existing buildings, copied from drawing 1, overlaid with an alternative design for the proposed offices


(1-2) to a scale


1 plan labelled (Soane): Barrack Court, Urinal Court, Great Court, Access of Com[ittee], Urinal Court for / Accts office, Deputy Acct / office, Porter, Court, Entrance, Court, Chief Cashier, Accountants / Office, Acct Gen[eral]l / Room, P--- (Principal?) / Cashiers / Room, Cashiers / Office, Discount Office, Court, Dep: Secr[etary] / & / ap---, Waitg / Room, Dep G[overnor], Governor, Doorkeep[er], Com[mittee] in Wait[ing], Land Tax / & / Income 2 plan labelled (Soane): Barrack Court, Officers, Sec[retary] / to / off[icers], Barracks, Great Court, Urinal Court, Strong / The / Accountants / office, Chief Cash[ier], Vestibule, wind / lass

Signed and dated

  • (1) Aug: 26: 1803


Soane office and Soane


Drawings 1 and 2 are early alternative designs for the second phase of the north-west extension. The first phase of the extension, including the Accountants Office and the Doric Vestibule, was already at a late stage of design in August 1803 (see 3:7 and 3:8).

Drawings 1 and 2 both have a large court directly north of the Accountants Offices and surrounded by buildings, as in the executed design. An entrance faces Lothbury Street. Drawing 1 resembles the executed design more closely, with long rectangular offices surrounding the court and forming a smaller triangular courtyard beside the northern entrance. Drawing 2 shows an alternative design of offices arranged around a semicircular court. The drawing is undated but parts of the plan are clearly copied from drawing 2.

In both designs, as in the executed design, the buildings in the new wing do not respond to the surrounding streets or the awkward angles of the screen wall. The interior court, rather, acts as the focal point for the new offices.



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

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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).