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Design for alterations to the existing house, 1779, unexecuted (1)

Notes

This design must have been precipitated by the fire damage of outbuildings to the north of the house in November 1778. Adam responded by creating a circular dining room on the west side to be connected to the great drawing room by a sculpture gallery through the centre of the house. As Saltram has no basement, a servants hall fits alongside the gallery. Bolton writes that the plan exhibits 'Adam’s effective grasp of the difficult subject of house planning'.

By showing the existing parts of the design in pink, Adam, unsuccessfully, attempted to present his proposed additions as achievably uncomplicated. He has also sketched in shrubbery in pencil to show how the new kitchen could be screened from the south-east facing window in the library's canted bay. However the proposal was unused and ten years later a kitchen was built on the same site by Thomas Parlby (d.1802) with the estate carpenter Mr Stockman.

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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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