- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Drawing 93 shows a perspective, taken from a view-point slightly beyond the east wall (from the later south-east Transfer Office, looking through the entrance). It shows that on 25 August 1821, Taylor's outer walls had been retained, the old ceiling was still in place, the columns have been removed and the foundations were being excavated. In the foreground is an iron pump and a wooden gutter that carries the water away from the basement.
Drawing 94 gives a worm's-eye view from the north west. It shows a temporary scaffold bridge providing access from the adjacent rooms on the left (which must be the Rotunda). Masonry, ready for construction, is shown in the foreground. C. Woodward suggests these views 'were perhaps intended to suggest the inferiority of this [Taylor's] construction when compared to Soane's simple, massive masonry vaults'.
Woodward also indicates that the work on Taylor's foundations was necessitated by Soane's substitution of four stone piers, in place of Taylor's sixteen wooden columns: 'Soane's new vault was supported by far fewer piers and much of this foundation was redundant'.
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).