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Reference number

SM 45/1/12


Design for a circular chamber, 70 feet in diameter


2 Plan, not finished, marked 70 feet diamr ; (verso, pencil) rough elevation of a domed, well colonnaded building of three storeys, close to the rough elevation catalogued above (recto of drawing 1) both to an octagonal plan


to a scale (recto)


as above

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, grey wash, trace lines, red sealing wax on two corners of verso, on laid paper (371 x 544)


Soane (or possibly George Dance)



J Whatman


Previously catalogued as a 'Design for a domed rotunda' (see Concise Catalogue) and filed with a group of 'Early sketches by Soane, in his own hand, of Italian buildings, designs made as a student before the Italian trip, designs made in Italy or on his return,1774-85' the drawing seems to relate to the British Senate House scheme see, for example, drawing 5 recto where there is a quite similar circular chamber.

The plan is on a single axis with two double-apsed ante-rooms with a double column screen at each side, flanking the circular chamber. It owes a great deal to George Dance's competition design for a public gallery made for the Parma Academy in 1763 and his treatment of the 'Gran Sale d'ingresso' with their ante-rooms (see J.Lever, Catalogue of the drawings of George Dance the Younger (1741-1825) ... from the collection of Sir John Soane's Museum, 2003, [17].4). Dance also used the idea for his ballroom at Cranbury Park, Hampshire, c.1780. The drawing might have been made by Dance



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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).