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image Image 1 for SM (157) 49/3/19 (158) 49/4/5 (159) 49/4/3
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Reference number

SM (157) 49/3/19 (158) 49/4/5 (159) 49/4/3


Designs for new government offices, March 1825 (3)


157 Perspective Sketch of a Design for the New Council Offices and Board of Trade, together with the proposed Alteration of the Front of the Offices of the Secretary / of State for the Home Department from the south east 158 Front elevation with plan of the front 159 Front elevation


(158) bar scale of 1/6 inch to 1 foot (159) bar scale of 1/9 inch to 1 foot


157 as above 158 At Fife House. Present, The Earl of Liverpool - The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Peel, Sir C Long, / Mr Herries, Mr Arbuthnot, Mr Croker, &c / Approved of the design making the space between the Towers in the same line with the Towers and in the same style, labelled: Passage to the Treasury

Signed and dated

  • (157) 8th March 1825 (158) Lincolns Inn Fields / March 1825 and 12th March 1825 (159) (pencil) 21st March

Medium and dimensions

(157) Pen, sepia and black washes with single ruled border on wove paper (356 x 526) (158) pen, yellow ochre, sepia, black, pink and green washes, pricked for transfer with quadruple ruled, black and sepia wash border on two sheets of wove paper, affixed, with three fold marks (539 x 1355) (159) pencil, yellow ochre, sepia, blue and black washes, pricked for transfer on wove paper with three fold marks (390 x 1082)


(157) Soane office (158) George Bailey (1792-1860, pupil then assistant 1806-37, curator 1837-60) (159) Charles James Richardson (1809-71, pupil and assistant 1824-1837)


(158) J Whatman 1820 (159) James Whatman Turkey Mill Kent 1824


In drawings 157-159 the attic storey has been removed from the central 13 bays leaving a five-bay 'tower' (as called by Soane) at either end of the building. The balustrade remains, concealing the skylight over the corridor, and is the same height as the balustrade over the attics. Drawing 159 includes the chimneys which are not shown on drawings 157 and 158.
Drawing 158 was presented to Lord Liverpool and the Treasury officials at a meeting at Fife House on 12 March 1825, where the design was approved.
The shadows on drawing 159 show that the final five bays at either end of the building are projecting - the first visualisation of the pavilions that Soane was directed to add to the building.
Present at Fife House along with Liverpool, Robinson, Long and Herries were Robert Peel (1788-1850), Home Secretary, Charles Arbuthnot (1767-1850), First Commissioner of Woods and Forests and John Wilson Croker (1780-1857), First Secretary to the Admiralty.



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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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