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Shades of Grey: PANO HEAVEN

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    Shades of Grey: PANO HEAVEN

    This is another post I started preparing in April that has gone on hold while I plunged into the Volterra reality capture experience. "Flashback begins"

    Over the past three months or so we have spent many hours raising the level of detail in our Revit Model of the Bank of England, as it was in 1833 when Soane retired. The "map" below shows the area that has been our main focus, and the numbers represent panoramas created using the awesome power of


    If you aren't using it, you should be. Instant gratification.

    Much remains to be done, and some of the panoramas shared below have obvious faults, but the character of Soane's masterpiece, (building upon the work of two previous architects) is beginning to shine through. And so we proudly present a series of panoramas generated via the awesomeness of Enscape3d. This is a work in progress, a labour of love, a collaborative effort, a lost moment in history, our gift to the world.

    First of all a key to camera locations

    We start in the Accountant's Office, a large rectangular room associated with the distribution of paper money to the "general public" in England, offering an alternative to metal coins for the first time. It divides the Printing Court (where that new form of daily currency was magically created), from the Waiting Room Court with the window of the Governor's office in the far corner.

    The Printing Court is designed in Soane's "Economy Mode" with stock brick in place of Portland Stone and round headed arches setting up a regular rhythm. The external facade of the Accountant's Office is shown are plain render, but may well have been brick-faced also. On the opposite side, the entrance to the new Barracks is marked by sturdy Doric columns topped by pyramids of cannon balls.

    Separating the Accountant's Office from the Waiting Room Court is the Loggia: an open sided corridor featuring a dramatic sequence of tall arches. This is a part of a new route from a new entrance in Princes Street to the Directors Parlours, created by Soane for the convenience of priveleged clients and directors of the Bank.

    The Waiting Room Court itself is a grand composition in stone, with Corinthian pillars and a rusticated base. This panorama is somewhat spoiled by the incomplete material treatment, but we are getting there.

    Proceeding down the route from the Loggia (known as the Long Passage) we take a sharp right turn, keeping the WRC to our right. Dive through a door on your left and you are in the Chief Cashier's Office, not his private office, the general office which he supervised. The Chief Cashier was one of two senior employees who lived within the premises. It was a short stroll from his apartment to the gallery overlooking this space where his clerks recorded the internal finances of the Bank: the salaries and expenses, coal for the many fireplaces, whale oil for the lamps.

    Now let's return to the Long Passage. A little further down we come to a portal on our right hand side, with light filtering in from above. This lobby leads to the Discount Office and here we encounter the rusticated wall finish that helps to define the character of the Long Passage and the Directors Parlours

    07 DLP-01
    Continuing down the passage, we reach three large round-headed windows overlooking the Bullion Court on the left. This is part of the original building designed by Sampson in the 1730s. Just ahead of us, on the right, is a shallow curved recess which leads into the Directors Parlours.

    08 CRT-03 Entrance Lobby
    The Entrance Lobby is a cube with a dome and lantern. It was designed by Taylor, with minor modifications by Soane.

    09 Corridor
    PAR-01 We are in the centre of a low, narrow corridor. As always, Soane is bringing light in from above. There is no other way in this case. One one side are doors to two small waiting rooms.

    10 PAR-02 This small waiting room is quintessential Soane. Here you might sit and wait for your appointment with the Governor or his Deputy. ???

    11 PAR-04 Centre Hall

    12 GOV-01 This is the governor's office. Through the window in one corner, you can see the Loggia on the far side of Waiting Room Court. Sadly we don't yet have furniture to bring this space to life, but we do have the large segmental windows, sitting below the vaulted ceiling, and a hint at the elaborate mouldings and dentils running around at cornice level.

    13 GOV-02 The deputy governor's room (next door) is less grand, but more completely Soanian in character. Again you can see the Loggia across the WRC

    14 RUSTIC The Rustic Lobby is basically the last public space within the Director's Parlours, giving access to yet more waiting rooms, and down a passage to the toilets. At the end of that passage you get a tiny glimpse into the Garden Court.

    15 CRT-02 Committee Room
    Backtracking through the centre lobby we come to the committee room, shown in pink because it was designed and built by Taylor. The space is an elongated octagon with bookcases in the four corners. We will proceed through the doors opposite the fireplace.

    16 Court Room
    The Court Room has been recreated in the current Bank buildings by Sir Herbert Baker, but in a different location. It is designed in Taylors typical, ornate style: somewhat pompous perhaps, but a place where momentous decisions were debated. Its grand Palladian windows overlook the garden court, formerly the graveyard of St Phillip's church.

    Click here to view the entire blog post.

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