- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
The chapel has a nave measuring approximately 44 by 30 feet, with semicircular ends each on a radius of 14 feet 5 1/4 inches. An enriched entablature surrounds the nave. The apsidal west end (ritually west) has an organ gallery supported on four Ionic columns. Corinthian columns on a larger radius are attached at four corners of the nave and the walls are articulated by giant fluted Corinthian pilasters. The elaborate ceiling has delicate classical stucco work and is punctured at regular intervals by semicircular clerestory windows.
Soane's design No 1 (drawing 2) proposes a raised transept, labelled as 'tribunes', on both sides of the nave. Both recesses are raised a half-storey and accessed by a small back staircase, railings having a lozenge and rosetted disc motif. The label 'tribunes' suggests that the alcoves are top-lit.
Designt No 2 (drawing 3) has alterations in grey wash. Soane proposes adding curving 'tribunes' to the east end (ritually east) of the chapel, thus expanding the radius of the external wall. Ionic columns support galleries overhead, both displaying the same iron balustrade motif as drawing 2.
Soane's designs show a minimal intervention within the existing building, adapting to the chapel's orders, ornament, and rhythm of its plan.
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).