Explore Collections Explore The Collections
You are here: CollectionsOnline  /  Preliminary designs, 1790 (2)


  • image Image 1 for SM (4) 33/1/2 (5) 33/1/3
  • image Image 2 for SM (4) 33/1/2 (5) 33/1/3
  • image Image 3 for SM (4) 33/1/2 (5) 33/1/3
  • image Image 4 for SM (4) 33/1/2 (5) 33/1/3
  • image Image 1 for SM (4) 33/1/2 (5) 33/1/3
  • image Image 2 for SM (4) 33/1/2 (5) 33/1/3
  • image Image 3 for SM (4) 33/1/2 (5) 33/1/3
  • image Image 4 for SM (4) 33/1/2 (5) 33/1/3

Reference number

SM (4) 33/1/2 (5) 33/1/3


Preliminary designs, 1790 (2)


4 Ground floor Plan of the Old Houses forming the Site of / Buckingham House in Pallmall 5 First floor plan


(4) bar scale of 1/9 inch to 1 foot (5) to a scale of 1/9 inch to 1 foot


4 as above, The Marquiss of Buckingham and some dimensions given 5 The Marquiss of Buckingham, Pallmall

Signed and dated

  • (4-5) 1790

Medium and dimensions

(4-5) Pencil, pen and pink, grey and yellow washes on laid paper (361 x 525, 361 x 525)


(4-5) Soane and Soane office, and titles added later by George Bailey (Soane Museum curator, 1837-60)


(4) J Whatman (5) fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche and ornate W below


Drawings 4 and 5 show an initial design for alterations to the houses fronting Pall Mall. The house has a seven-bay symmetrical street front. The west house is shown completely rebuilt, except for the original offices in the rear courtyard (shown in pencil on drawing 4). The east building, in pink wash on the left-hand side of the sheet, is largely retained, with partitions introduced and the principal staircase removed. Drawings 4 and 5 appear to be unbuilt designs by Robert Furze Brettingham (c.1750-1820), architect to 91 Pall Mall in 1785 and 86 (H. Colvin).

The proposed west building has two principal rooms on the ground floor. The back room has a tripartite window (probably intended as a Venetian window) overlooking a courtyard with piers decoratively arranged in a semicircle. In rough pen, Soane has added a staircase to a vestibule at the centre of the building.

As the first floor plan (drawing 5) reveals, the preliminary design does not do well to accomodate the difference in floor levels between the two buildings. Quarter-staircases lead from one house to the other, suggesting that the floor levels vary by a few feet.


Survey of London, vol.s XXIX and XXX, 1960, pp. 360-363; H. Colvin, Biographical dictionary of British architects 1600-1840, 4th ed., 2008



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).