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Reference number

SM 36/2/16


[11] Design for the ground floor of a new Parliament House


Ground floor plan


bar scale of 5/9 inch to 10 feet


labelled: Thames, Extends 300 feet, 232 feet

Signed and dated

  • 1734-39

Medium and dimensions

Pen and sepia (brown) wash, pricked for transfer within single ruled border on laid paper (374 x 512)


William Kent (1685 - 1748)




The ground floor provides four points of access - one on each side of the building. The entrance from Old Palace Yard leads to a large, vaulted space, on either side of which are large, geometrical staircases that lead to the piano nobile. Two spiral staircases also serve the piano nobile, providing access for visitors arriving from the river entrance.

(Salmon, p. 342)



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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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