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Offices, c. July 1801 (7)

The offices at Pitzhanger were designed as a separate wing, rather than in the basement of the Soane’s villa, as at Acton (although some earlier unexecuted designs do experiment with that idea). Access to the service/office wing was via a colonnade covered by a roof, the columns of which were supposedly part of the ruins. This was to make service to and from the kitchen to the Breakfast Room or Eating Room easier.

The service wing had the additional benefit of symmetrically balancing out the Dance wing retained by Soane, though it was concealed by shrubs in some drawings, and eventually (as drawing 154 shows) a porticoed entrance was added to disguise the function of the wing from any visitors viewing it through the windows of the main house.

The main service block extended into a sprawling collection of outbuildings and stables – many retained or altered from pre-existing buildings. The designs for stables are shown with tall arches and blind arcading – perhaps a precursor of designs for Chelsea Hospital stables.

The office block was first altered and then altogether removed when the library was built in 1901, along with the various outbuildings, excepting the lodge which can still be seen today.

Virginia Brilliant's TS Pitzhanger catalogue has been instumental to the creation of this catalogue.

Matilda Burn 2010
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