Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Preliminary design


  • image SM volume 42/137

Reference number

SM volume 42/137


Preliminary design


Plan and elevation of a four-room building with a pyramidal roof and a portico in antis


(feint pencil) bar scale of 1/5 in to 1 ft (approximately)


Wash-- (indecipherable) , Bed (twice), door, dimensions given and calculations

Medium and dimensions

Brown pen and wash, hatching, pencil on laid paper (340 x 227)




J Bigg


Set among trees, the picturesque building has a portico made of (?) tree trunks in a primitive Tuscan manner and the roof may be thatched. The building is 21 feet 3 inches wide and 24 feet 3 inches deep. On the right hand side are two bedrooms and on the opposite side are two rooms of which the back one is labelled 'Wash' and has a circular boiler while the remaining room has the only fireplace. Pencil amendments chamfer the front corners of the building.
The function of this small building is not clear. Perhaps it is an estate cottage or a lodge house that takes in washing. See the following drawing (42/138) for a related design and for both these drawings see also (in Sketchbooks catalogue): 'Miscellaneous Sketches 1777', largely by Henry Holland (SM volume 38, 12-13) for a design by Soane for a 'Porters Lodge' on an octagon within a square plan, and with an adjacent 'Washouse' containing a copper, sink and pump made in about 1777 for a 'Mr Brand'.
See also (Soane's early works, 1770-1785): Hammels Park, Hertfordshire: designs for a dairy in a primitive, rustic style for Mrs Yorke, 1783 (7)


P.du Prey, John Soane: the making of an architect, 1982, chapter 12, "In the Primitive Manner of Building", pp.245-64



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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).