It was presumably during his time working at Edinburgh University that the Adam brothers were commissioned to make designs for Ferguson's castle-style town house on Queen Street. The date of this design is not known, but the inclusion of relieving arches and tripartite windows suggest that it is not from the earliest years of their practice. This results in a probable date range of 1765-85. It was extremely rare for the Adam brothers to have designed a castle-style townhouse, and it was not executed.
Why Ferguson would have wanted or needed this house on Queen Street is not known. Queen Street is a terrace in the New Town, and according to the Buildings of Scotland, it comprises the longest sequence of eighteenth-century buildings in Edinburgh. Ferguson, however, lived at Sciennes Hill House, where his home, famously, became an important forum for the literati of the city.
A.T. Bolton, The architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1922, Volume II, p. 207, and Index pp. 12, 70; J. Gifford, C. McWilliam, and D. Walker, The buildings of Scotland: Edinburgh, 1984, p. 317; D. King, The complete works of Robert & James Adam and unbuilt Adam, 2001, Volume II, pp. 158, 162
Frances Sands, 2013
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).