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Preliminary design and design for a screen wall and gateway, c1770-76, unexecuted (2)


The screen and gateway seen in these designs can also be seen in the plans and section for the house (Adam volumes 29/3-29/5). It would have provided a magnificent terminus to Mansfield Street, and the triumphal arch motif at the centre of this design seems to support the idea that the 3rd Duke of Portland wanted to build himself a palace in order to emphasise his political position. Although none of Adam's schemes for Portland House were executed, it is possible that preparations for this gateway progressed further than any other feature of the scheme, as these drawings provide dimensions for construction.



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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.

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