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  • image Image 1 for SM 40/2/32

Reference number

SM 40/2/32


[7] Preliminary alternative design for the ground floor, 21 June 1801


Two plan of the ground floor and plan of the back parlour


Messrs Praeds & Co / Fleet Street, Sketch of Design for the proposed New Banking House in Fleet Street, labelled (in Soane's hand): Lobby, Arch, Staircase, Qy Door, Window, ----- / Cl, Fin---, Store Room, Fire, Not satisfied with what / Ld B had appd / This plan was made / up after I left / him - Evening of June 21 1801 and dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 21 June 1801
    June 21 1801 / Eveng and June 21 1801 / 10 o'Clock Even

Medium and dimensions

Brown pen, pricked for transfer on wove paper (676 x 552)


Sir John Soane RA (1753 - 1837)


WL 1794


Not content with the approved design (drawing [5]) or his second, altered design (drawing [6]), Soane produced this alternative plan late in the evening of 21 June. Evidently the project had been on his mind all day. By moving the entrance to the right hand side of the building, Soane was able to create a continuous passage from the front of the house to the rear of the site. The wall to the west of the site (shared with Messrs North, Hoare & Co) was regular, meaning that Soane could give the front parlour a symmetrical plan. The back parlour appears to have a domed ceiling and a large window to the north. In the plans to the left and the right of the sheet, Soane experiments with alternative arrangements for the back parlour.



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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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