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Three further alternative designs, May 1811 (6)

Signed and dated

  • Main Year: 0


The next three designs follow the meeting of 16 May 1811 that took place at Soane’s office in Lincoln’s Inn Fields. The college was persuaded that the new Gallery should be built to the south of the existing college, where it might one day form one side of a new quadrangle. The college never did agree to the demolition of the west wing, but must have realised that the existing gallery on the first floor of the west wing was not large enough to house Bourgeois’ collection of paintings. A few days later the client requested that if the west wing was not to be refurbished then accommodation for the six almswomen who lived in that building would have to be provided. Soane made a note in his diary for Sunday 19 May; ‘Mr Corri, J. Wariter, Warden called – mark plan on site of kitch[en]: and old women under’. Thus Soane was to design a single new block to house the Gallery, six almshouses and the Mausoleum. It was an interesting combination of exhibition, funerary and domestic architecture. This led to the next three design briefs, Design Nos 6-8. These were presented as five alternative plans and one elevation. Design No. 6 is a wider H-plan. Soane records a visit to Mr Allen in his Note Book entry for Friday 24 May and the next day Design No. 7 was produced, which is close to that executed. Perhaps Soane and Mr Allen had discussed these plans. Design No. 7 is a three-sided quadrangular plan open to the east. The plan shows a single-storey block with the almshouses running along the entire length of the west front of the Gallery. Design No. 8 is a development of this plan but with an alternative quadrant arcade. However the south range in all these plans remained unbuilt.
John Buxton and Charles Tyrrell are the most frequently mentioned pupils in the Day Book at this stage, working on the plans for the next three designs incorporating the almshouses into the new range.
In June 1811 Soane was called away on other business to Devonshire, Somerset and Hertfordshire and so no work was done in the office on Dulwich until 10 July when Bailey and Buxton drew the scheme design for the meeting on 12 July.



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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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Contents of Three further alternative designs, May 1811 (6)