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Design for the Diocletian wing, 1769, executed with alterations (3)


These drawings show Adam's Diocletian wing almost as executed, which was erected in 1769-70, after Adam had made alterations to the interior of the original house. The new wing was built onto pre-existing E-shaped domestic offices to the north-west of the house. It enclosed two courtyards, and provided an additional link to connect the offices to the original house.

The Diocletian wing was so called because it made use of Adam's Spalatro order columns, and vaguely resembled the architecture shown in Adam's the Ruins of the palace of the Emperor Diocletian at Spalatro in Dalmatia. Adam's original Spalatro order capitals were replaced with Corinthian capitals during the nineteenth century.

Adam volume 39/74 shows Adam's intention to include a greenhouse to either side of the principal entrance, as well as a long gallery in the eastern range of the office, and an unusual link to the original house on the south-east corner, with a central circular room in the middle. None of these elements were executed.

The entire domestic offices, including Adam's Diocletian wing, were extensively altered during the nineteenth century. The original house was demolished in 1955 (see scheme notes), and since this time the offices have been used as the principal residence, necessitating various further alterations to the interior.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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.

Browse (via the vertical menu to the left) and search results for Drawings include a mixture of Concise catalogue records – drawn from an outline list of the collection – and fuller records where drawings have been catalogued in more detail (an ongoing process).  

Contents of Design for the Diocletian wing, 1769, executed with alterations (3)