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Purpose

Preliminary designs and finished drawings for the riding school, 1763, executed to the design in drawings 5-9 with alterations (9)

Notes

From observation of these drawings it appears that the design was considerably simplified between Adam's preliminary designs and the executed structure, presumably in favour of economy. The use of the Tuscan order in the finished drawings (Adam volumes 38/53, 54, 50, 51 and 52), which most closely record the executed building, was not only economical, but also appropriate considering the utilitarian usage of the building, and echoes Palladio's use of the Doric and Tuscan orders for agricultural buildings.

During the 1780s the gallery above the lobby was used for the instruction of fencing, but prior to, and following this, it would have provided an excellent vantage point for observing the activities taking place in the riding school below.

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

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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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Contents of Preliminary designs and finished drawings for the riding school, 1763, executed to the design in drawings 5-9 with alterations (9)