John Soane

John Soane

Sir John Soane (10 September 1753 – 20 January 1837) was an English architect who specialised in the Neo-Classical style. His architectural works are distinguished by their clean lines, massing of simple form, decisive detailing, careful proportions and skilful use of light sources. The influence of his work, coming at the end of the Georgian era, was swamped by the revival styles of the 19th century. It was not until the late 19th century that the influence of Sir John's architecture was widely felt. His best-known work was the Bank of England, a building which had widespread effect on commercial architecture.


Soane was born in Goring-on-Thames [ [ Great Buildings] ] and educated in nearby Reading, the son of a bricklayer. His name was initially "Swan" which was first changed to "Soan" and later to "Soane". [ [ Berkshire History] ] Soane trained as an architect, first under George Dance the Younger, and then Henry Holland, while also studying at the Royal Academy schools, which he entered in 1771. During his studies at the Royal Academy, he won the Academy's silver medal (1772), gold medal (1776) and finally a travelling scholarship in 1777, which he spent on developing his style in Italy. [ [ Britannica 1911 encyclopedia] ]

where he established a small architectural practice.

In 1788, he succeeded Sir Robert Taylor as architect and surveyor to the Bank of England, the exterior of the Bank being his most famous work. Sir Herbert Baker's rebuilding of the Bank, demolishing most of Soane's earlier building was described by Nikolaus Pevsner as "the greatest architectural crime, in the City of London, of the twentieth century". The Bank job, and especially the personal contacts arising from it, increased the success of Soane's practice, and he became Associate Royal Academician (ARA) in 1795, then full Royal Academician (RA) in 1802. He was made Professor of Architecture at the Royal Academy in 1806, [ [ Spartacus schoolnet] ] a post which he held until his death. Then, in 1814, he was appointed to the Metropolitan Board of Works, where he remained until his retirement in 1832. In 1831, Soane received a knighthood.

Soane was commissioned by the Bank of Ireland to design a new headquarters for the triangular site on Westmoreland Street now occupied by the Westin Hotel. However, when the Irish Parliament was abolished in 1800, the Bank abandoned the project and instead bought the former Parliament Buildings.

During his time in London, Soane ran a lucrative architectural practice, remodelling and designing country homes for the landed gentry. Among Soane's most notable works are the dining rooms of both numbers 10 and 11 Downing Street for the Prime Minister and Chancellor of Britain, the Dulwich Picture Gallery which is the archetype for most modern art galleries, and his country home at Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing.

Soane died, a widower and estranged from his surviving son (whom he felt had betrayed him, contributing to his own mother's death), in London in 1837. He is buried in a vault of his own design in the churchyard of St Pancras Old Church. The design of the vault was a direct influence on Giles Gilbert Scott's design for the red telephone box.

ir John Soane's Museum

In 1792, Soane bought a house at 12 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London. He used the house as his home and library, but also entertained potential clients in the drawing room. It is now Sir John Soane's Museum and is open to the public.

Between 1794 and 1824, Soane remodelled and extended the house into two neighbouring properties — partly to experiment with architectural ideas, and partly to house his growing collection of antiquities and architectural salvage. As his practice prospered, Soane was able to collect objects worthy of the British Museum, including the sarcophagus of Seti I, Roman bronzes from Pompeii, several Canaletto's and a collection of paintings by Hogarth. In 1833, he obtained an Act of Parliament to bequeath the house and collection to the British Nation to be made into a museum of architecture, now the Sir John Soane's Museum.

elected list of architectural works

* Aynhoe Park, Aynhoe, Banbury, Oxfordshire
* Bank of England
* Chillington Hall
* Cricket House, Somerset
* Dulwich Picture Gallery
* Holy Trinity Church Marylebone
* Moggerhanger House, Bedfordshire
* Pell Wall Hall, Market Drayton, Shropshire
* Piercefield House
* Pitzhanger Manor
* The Royal Hospital, Chelsea
* St. John's Church, Bethnal Green
* St. Peter's Church, Walworth
* Soane's house in Lincoln's Inn Fields, now a museum
* South Hill Park
* Tyringham Hall, Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire
* Wimpole Hall, Arrington, Royston, Cambridgeshire
* Wokefield Park
* Wotton House, Buckinghamshire


External links

* [ Catalogue of library and museum]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • John Soane — by Thomas Lawrence Sir John Soane (10 septembre 1753 20 janvier 1837) était un architecte britannique dans la tradition néo classique. Biographie Fils de maçon, Soane naît à Goring On Thames près de Reading en Angleterre. Il… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Soane — [John Soane] (1753–1837) an English ↑architect whose work was influenced by ↑neoclassicism. His best known buildings are the ↑Bank of England and his own house in central London, which is now a museum called Sir John Soane’s Museum, filled with… …   Useful english dictionary

  • John Soane — (Goring On Thames, 10 de septiembre de 1753 Londres, 20 de enero de 1837) fue un arquitecto británico de estilo neoclásico. Retrato de John Soane (Thomas Lawrence). Viajó a Italia, concretamente a …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Soane — Sir John Soane [səʊn] (* 10. September 1753 in Reading oder Goring on Thames zwischen Oxfordshire und Berkshire; † 20. Januar 1837 in London) war ein britischer Architekt und Professor der Royal Academy. Ausgehend von der Tradition des… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Soane — ➡ Soane * * * …   Universalium

  • Sir John Soane's Museum — (often abbreviated to the Soane Museum) is a museum of architecture, and was formerly the house and studio of the neo classical architect Sir John Soane. It holds many drawings and models of his projects and the collections of paintings, drawings …   Wikipedia

  • Sir John Soane's Museum — ist ein Museum in London, das aus den drei zusammengelegten ehemaligen Wohnhäusern Sir John Soanes besteht. Das Museum wurde im 19. Jahrhundert gegründet. Die Gründung des Museums wird mit dem 20. April 1833 durch einen Act of Parliament to… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sir John Soane’s Museum — Sir John Soane s Museum Sir John Soane s Museum ist ein Museum in London, das aus den drei zusammengelegten ehemaligen Wohnhäusern Sir John Soanes besteht. Das Museum wurde im 19. Jahrhundert gegründet. Die Gründung des Museums wird mit dem 20.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sir John Soane's Museum — 51°31′01″N 00°07′02″O / 51.51694, 0.11722 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sir John Soane’s Museum — ➡ Soane * * * …   Universalium

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