- The drawings from the office of Sir John Soane
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Soane made plans for a plain one-storey house, but also for a grander house of two storeys and a recessed porch (drawings 192-197) though the exact design varies across this latter group. The more humble design was that eventually employed, perhaps partly because it symmetrically balanced the Bakehouse, further up the West Road. Indeed, the design, proportions and even floor plans are remarkably similar for each building. As a drawing in The National Archives (PRO) Work 31/230 shows, the Gardener’s House had both a basement and an attic, a set of stairs leading to each in a corner room. The Bakehouse appears only to have a basement but also has similar proportions and window spacing. Margaret Richardson suggests that both buildings ‘share the almost primitive style of the stables and are built of commonplace yellow stock brick of one storey with four windows and slate roofs with central chimney stacks’ (p.49). Soane was obviously trying for a unity and symmetry on the west side of the hospital, the side most dominated by his own architecture.
The SM Archive also holds three drawings for the Gardener's House - one plan and two elevations with some verso details (Priv.Corr.IX.J.32-34).
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 Gardener's House, c.1816 - July 1818 (13)
- Record drawings of preliminary variant designs for a single-storey Gardener's House, 1816 (3)
- Record drawings of two variant (unexecuted) designs for a two-storey house, 1816 (4)
- Record drawings of two further variant (unexecuted) designs for a two-storey house, 1816 (2)
- Record drawings of the design for a single-storey design (as executed), 1-16 July 1818 (4)