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image SM (45) 10/1/18

Reference number

SM (45) 10/1/18


Preliminary design for the entrance building front, January 1825


45 Elevation and plan


bar scale


A Design for the alteration of the centre of the South Front. 1825 and dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • January 1825


Soane office and Soane


Smith & Allnutt 1820


The entrance building is designed as a continuation of the south front, with four recessed columns flanked by blind windows framed by antae. The upper storey of the front building is partly obscured by the panelled attic, which is level with the adjacent walls.

At the end of the 1824 it became apparent to Soane that the Sampson entrance building was in a poorer state than expected, and that either a repair or a rebuild was necessary. Soane presented both options to the Bank's building committee in February 1825, along with two models. Soane's mason estimated that fixing a new Portland stone centre to the building would cost £1997, and a repair would be either £1204 or £1678. The Building Committee and many members of the court of Directors assessed the models and requested alterations. On 3 March the Committee approved the revised model, agreeing to encase the façade rather than completely tear it down. The Bank's agreement to merely reclad the wall, however, was revised soon thereafter, as Soane came before them again in May 1825 with a new report necessitating its complete replacement.



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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).