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Preliminary and realised lantern dome designs (longitudinal and transverse sections), c. 1792 (7)

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The longitudinal and transverse sections for preliminary and realised designs show schematically the dimensions and structure of the built hall. The sections show alternative designs for the east, west and north walls. The drawings follow the lantern-domed crossing scheme flanked at two ends with clerestory lunettes and share common features of banded wall rustication and fluted pilasters. However, details such as the decoration of the lantern and pendentive dome, and the design of the clerestory lunettes varies.
The decorative designs embodied simplification and reduction, as shown by the plain and conventional arches and fluted piers. The banded rustication of the walls unified the space horizontally and was derived from the exterior elevations of Vanbrugh, Hawksmoor, Henry Holland and French architecture, giving the hall a sense of public elegance. The clerestory lunettes convey Roman antiquity, creating historic and monumental associations.



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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 Preliminary and realised lantern dome designs (longitudinal and transverse sections), c. 1792 (7)