October 16: the bank

2012/10/16 § Leave a comment

On this day in 1788 John Soane was engaged as official Architect of the Bank of England.

Soane was a replacement for Robert Taylor, who had the misfortune of dying in late September.  No disrespect to Mr. Taylor, who was good enough, but he was no Soane.  While admittedly inconvenient to Mr. Taylor, his death was a boon to Soane, and the rest of the civilized world that loves Neo-Classicism.

Soane (1753-1837) held the job as architect for the sprawling bank for over three decades.  Although he addressed the project piecemeal, building as new projects and programs were proposed by directors of the bank, Soane’s particular brand of Neo-Classicism knit the labyrinth into a series of halls, passage, courtyards and rotunda spaces, beautifully illuminated and cohesively designed with the broad stores of historical insight that Soane carried around between his ears.

You can’t know too much about Soane.  Read more here, then get on an airplane and go to his wonderful house-museum.

Image: the rotonda (from this source)

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