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Reference number

SM 51/3/1


Alternative design for the river front of the Lords' committee rooms similar to the House of Commons Library


Elevation of the river front and perspective of the left-hand bay; (verso) part plan of the offices to the south of the Stone building


labelled (pencil): Painted Chamber and some dimensions given for elevation

Medium and dimensions

Pencil, sepia, raw Sienna, Payne's grey and grey washes, (verso: pencil), pricked for transfer on wove paper with cover sheet attached and modern repair to tear, bottom right (510 x 371)


In Soane's Designs for Public Improvements, 1827, is a plate showing 'A design to render the exterior of all the buildings connected with the official residence of the Speaker of the House of Commons & the front of the House of Lords to the northern entrance of Westminster Hall in the same style of architecture'. The engraving shows the elevation of the Lords' committee rooms to the same design as in this drawing. It is eight bays wide the outer three bays on each side being one storey taller than the central two bays, with a battlemented skyline and buttresses. The Lords' and Commons' committee rooms are, therefore, identical in appearance. Indeed, the rough perspective at the top of the drawing shows the elevation to the Commons' library (q.v. London: House of Commons, Palace of Westminster: designs and executed design for library and committee rooms, 1825-1830: drawing 27).

The offices on the verso are labelled on a plan of the Palace of Westminster in 1793 in The History of the King's Works, VI, 1973, fig. 19, as 'Mr Ley, Assistant Clerk of House of Commons' and 'Committee Room' (twice).



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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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