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image SM (202) 67/4/1

Reference number

SM (202) 67/4/1


Site drawing, 30 March 1818


202 Survey plan of the Ce[ntre] of the Secretary's office (basement)


to a scale


as above and dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • A. Mee, 30th March 1818


A.P. Mee (1802-1823, pupil 1818-1823)




Soane's Secretary's Offices, which exist today, were built on the east side of the Hospital, bordering the East Road and sandwiched between Wren's old Gardener's House and Guardhouse. The building is made up of three main structures: a one storey central building with a basement, framed by two pavilions to the north and south. The pavilions are attached to the central building by small, flat-roofed, single-storey link buildings. The pavilions themselves are of similar proportions to Wren's Guardhouse and Gardener's House.

Drawing 202 shows the basement of the central building. The plan shows a similar arrangement to that for the ground floor, though the only design for the ground floor is in the National Archive (PRO Works 31/236). This ground floor plan shows a vestibule leading to a corridor that runs the whole longitudinal length of the building (north to south). However, drawing 202 does not show such a corridor and there is a survey plan in the SM Archive (Priv.Corr.IX.J.39) that corresponds to it, which includes a pencil inscription of Basement. There are three further survey plans in the SM Archive for the basement storey of the Secretary's Offices: two plans of part of the south wing and another for part of the north wing again.



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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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