- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
Soane's designs for a building housing a library and committee rooms (drawings 1-20) made in 1825 came to nothing. His reduced design (drawings 21-34) of 1826 was built. By 1830 designs were made for enlarging the library (37-42) but not executed. Drawings 43-53 relate to the Stone Building and adaptation of some of its rooms as committee rooms to replace those given over to the House of Commons library.
Soane's were not the only designs. Mr Ley, Clerk of the House of Commons made a sketch design that was given to Soane on 9 August 1825 which contained some invaluable suggestions and also left his own house intact (drawing 35 and see King's Works, VI pp.528-9). Soane took notice of Ley's recommendations and his 1826 design was shaped by some of Mr Ley's proposals.
Adam Lee, Labourer in Trust, had made his own designs in 1821 (SM 51/4/2-8). He had an apartment within the Palace of Westminster and drawing 23 has labels for both Mr Ley's house and a large ground floor room under the Long Gallery that is inscribed 'Mr Lee Labourer in Trust'.
Jill Lever, February 2014
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).
Contents of London: House of Commons, Palace of Westminster: designs and executed design for library and committee rooms, 1825-1830 (53)
- [1-6] First design for library, committee rooms and offices in a Tudor Gothic style, June 1825 and copied 31 May 1826 (6)
- [7-8] Slight variant of first design, 28 June 1825 (2)
- [9-12] Alternative or second design, June and 23 June 1825 (4)
- [13-14] Variant of alternative or second design, June 1825 (2)
- [15-17] Another variant of alternative or second design, June 1825 (3)
-  Survey drawing of Long Gallery building, 25 June 1825
- [19-20] Unexecuted design for the east elevation of the new committee rooms and library for the House of Commons, for new committee rooms for the House of Lords, and a house for Black Rod, July 1825 (2)
- [21-30] Preliminary design and executed design for library and committee rooms, May and July 1826 (10)
- [31-34] Working drawings for the library, 1826 (4)
-  Rough sketch design for library and committee rooms by Mr Ley, Clerk to the House of Commons, August 1825
-  Design for elevations for new committee rooms for the Commons and Lords, and for the Speaker's house, 27 March 1827
- Survey drawings related to enlargement of the new library and unexecuted design, 10 May, 1830 (6)
- [43-45] Survey drawings of the Stone Building (3)
-  Unexecuted design for fitting out the Stone Building for storing the records of the King's Bench, 17 May 1827
- [47-48] Survey and design drawings for Stone Building and adjacent building, one dated 17 May 1830 (2)
- [49-51] Alternative unexecuted designs for alterations to the upper floors of the Stone Building, May 1830 (3)
- [52-53] Survey drawings of the Stone Building, one dated 5 June 1830 (2)