John Soane Museum architecture tour

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Sir John Soane Museum Audio Tour

John Soane 1753-1835

Lincoln’s Inn Fields & Exterior
No.12: 1792-94, Soane is at peak of is career, born poor but married well to Elisa, heiress to her uncle’s great fortune after he passed. Combining Soane and Elisa’s they bought this freehold

Has uninterrupted south light, close to coaches to high Holborn, 25mins walk to his work in Bank of England, close to theatre in Covent garden, and the royal academy of Somerset house

Building was demolished and rebuilt using white east Anglian bricks, stood out from London’s more common red and yellow stock bricks.

East Anglia was the location many of Soane’s early work, therefore this choice of material for the façade may have been an advertisement for his practise.

Lived for more than a decade in No.12

No.13: 1807 purchased, developed the back premises into a museum. 1812, demolished the front part, and created a distinctive façade in his characteristic stripped down classical style, not full architectural orders but instead incised lines and Greek key decorations.

The projecting loge on No.13 originally an open balcony on all 3 floors, Soane glazed in much later, was a source of much trouble. As surveyor said, is an illegal encroachment on the square.

After much trouble, this façade became an eye catcher to anyone entering from the North side of Lincoln’s Inn Field. With its caryatid figures based on those of the erechtheion and later four medieval cobbles, it advertises Soane not just as a leading architect but also as an antiquarian and a collector.

No.14: 1824 bought and demolished. Its construction enabled Soane to create a symmetrical composition of 3 façade. Almost like a central palace’s frontage.

No.12-13: Served many uses, at different times, it was Soane’s family home, and housed Soane’s architectural practise. They were the test bed for Soane’s architectural ideas and for new technology. Also played an important role in marketing his

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