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  • image SM 36/2/9

Reference number

SM 36/2/9


[2] Design for the ground floor of a new Parliament House


Ground floor plan


bar scale of 5/9 inch to 10 feet

Signed and dated

  • 1733

Medium and dimensions

Pen on laid paper with one fold mark (491 x 735)


William Kent (1685 - 1748)


fleur-de-lis within crowned cartouche / 4 = IV


The building is essentially rectangluar, measuring 444 feet by 240 feet at its greatest extents. The building has six points of access: one from the river front; one beneath the House of Lords; one beneath the House of Commons; and three from Old Palace Yard, the central of which is a foot entrance and the outer two carriage entrances. Two oval spiral staircases at the centre of the plan provide access to the piano nobile, as do the two grand staircases adjacent to the carriage entrances and the spiral staircases (for servants) nearby.

Salmon draws an association between this drawing with a plan of the first floor (V&A 3518.1; Salmon, fig. 13.21) and an elevation (V&A 3518.10; Salmon, fig. 13.20), although he does acknowledge the differences between the plan and elevation designs.

(Salmon, pp. 332-34)



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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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