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image Image 1 for SM (53) volume 69/80 (54) P284 (was XP17) (North Drawing Room)
image Image 2 for SM (53) volume 69/80 (54) P284 (was XP17) (North Drawing Room)
  • image Image 1 for SM (53) volume 69/80 (54) P284 (was XP17) (North Drawing Room)
  • image Image 2 for SM (53) volume 69/80 (54) P284 (was XP17) (North Drawing Room)

Reference number

SM (53) volume 69/80 (54) P284 (was XP17) (North Drawing Room)


[53-54] Sketch perspective, September 1800 and design for re-modelling of the Court of Requests, 1808 (2)


53 Sketch interior perspective 54 Finished interior perspective


(53) House of Lords (54) Design for new House of Lords (Sir John Soane 1794), Part of the proposed design for the new House of Lords / This view was made from the drawings designed in obedience to an order of a committee of the House / of Lords and officially submitted to and honored with the approbation of His Majesty / As Westminster Abbey is already crowded with sculpture it was submitted that this room of CXX feet in length and XL feet in / breadth together with an adjoining room of large dimensions - the immediate entrance into the House of Lords as also the Doric Hall be public entrances / the Corridor of Communication nearly CCL feet in length - the Robing Room for His Majesty - the Great Committee Room - and the other principal rooms / and avenues should be decorated from time to time with statues and busts of illustrious men and also with / basso relievos, inscriptions and paintings descriptive of their great actions and public virtues thereby forming / a public depot of the arts calculated to call forth the genius, energy and exertions of the painter and sculptor / (signed) John Soane Archt 1808

Signed and dated

  • (53) Sep 1800
    (54) John Soane Archt 1808
  • (58) Sep 1800
    (59) John Soane Archt 1808

Medium and dimensions

(53) Pen, warm sepia, raw umber and blue washes on laid paper in album with blue, pink and yellow marbled boards (368 x 234) (54) pen and coloured washes (890 x 250 approximately) framed


(53) Joseph Michael Gandy (1771-1843, assistant January 1798-March 1801) (54) Gandy with figures by another ? Henry Hake Seward (1778-1848, pupil and assistant May 1794-September 1808)


(53) fleur-de-lis with crowned cartouche and below, GR


The design shows a hall with vaulted ceiling, large semicircular windows and 'primitive' Doric columns without bases and fluted in the upper two-thirds of the shaft. The capitals each support a dosseret or detached section of an entablature. The Court of Requests usually appears in plans as a blank space though some drawings (domeless sequence: drawings 10-13, 21,22) show it used as the new House of Commons. A record drawing that is a copy (without staffage) of drawing 54 (Domeless sequence: drawing 122) is inscribed 'Court of Requests'. By 1808 Soane was quite grandiloquent in his room labels, thus: 'Doric Hall', 'Corridor of Communication' and 'Great Committee Room'.

Literature. S.Sawyer, Soane at Westminster, PhD thesis Columbia University, 1999, p.228



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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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