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image SM (4) 9/4/36

Reference number

SM (4) 9/4/36


Alternative design for the Printing Office Court, 10 January 1804


4 Plan showing a circular office at the corner of Lothbury and Princes Street and semicircular-ended rectangular offices around a court


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The Bank, (Bailey) Sketch of a Design for offices at the North West angle, plan labelled (Soane): Court (four times), Accountants / Office, Vestibule, Loggia

Signed and dated

  • Jany 13th 1804


Soane office and Soane


Drawing 4 is an alternative design for the north-west, with curving corners and a circular room fit within the irregular-shaped wing. Soane had designed the north-east corner (2:7) in a similar fashion, using a plan of semicircles and curving walls to reconcile the disjointed wings and awkward angles of the screen wall. Unlike the north-east wing, however, the north-west corner had the strictly utilitarian purpose of printing bank notes under secure, well-lit, and fireproof conditions; the picturesque qualities used for the private banking offices were not necessary. Soane consulted the Bank's chief printer, Garnet Terry, for the wing's design.



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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.

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).