Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Model for the Law Courts, London, Court of King's Bench, front of northern section as rebuilt in Gothic style, designed by Sir John Soane, 1826
top left corner
top right corner
bottom left corner
bottom right corner
image Image 1 for MR30
image Image 2 for MR30
image Image 3 for MR30
image Image 4 for MR30
image Image 5 for MR30
image Image 6 for MR30
image Image 7 for MR30
  • image Image 1 for MR30
  • image Image 2 for MR30
  • image Image 3 for MR30
  • image Image 4 for MR30
  • image Image 5 for MR30
  • image Image 6 for MR30
  • image Image 7 for MR30

Model for the Law Courts, London, Court of King's Bench, front of northern section as rebuilt in Gothic style, designed by Sir John Soane, 1826

Painted wood

Height: 41cm
Width: 79.5cm
Depth: 41cm

Museum number: MR30

Curatorial note

Soane repeatedly stated that he had considered the possible need to gothicise the Law Courts from the start. He wrote in Designs for Public and Private Buildings (1838): “my Design was therefore so composed, that the Exterior of the New Building might at any time assume a different character: - a reference to the Drawings will shew how easy it would be to convert the five Venetian apertures into Gothic Windows, the Balustrades into battlements, the Columns at the curvilinear extremities into Buttresses: - or, if it should be considered more in character with the front of Westminster Hall, these extremities might be easily formed into square or octangular Towers, and the same style of decoration continued to the front of the House of Lords, as will be evident on inspecting the Design made before a brick of the foundation was laid.”

The model shows the unexecuted Gothic design described above. It may date from circa 1824, when Soane was trying to convince the Select Committee that the needs of the Court would be best served if it decided “To Gothicise the exterior of the Court of King’s Bench, and to leave all the internal arrangements undisturbed” (A Brief Statement…). The committee ignored his advice.

Exhibition history

John Soane Architect: Master of Space and Light, Royal Academy of Arts, London, 11 September - 3 December 1999; Centro Palladio, Vicenza, April - August 2000; Hôtel de Rohan, Paris, January - April 2001; Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, 16 May - 3 September 2001; Real Academia des Bellas Artes, Madrid, October - December 2001


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