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Variant designs for terraced houses on Leith Street, 1785, unexecuted (5)


Leith Street is located to the northeast of the Register House, and the Register House committee had control of the land on the north side of the street. The committee meeting minutes record that Adam was commissioned in 1785 to make designs to utilise this plot of land, and he provided two alternative schemes for a block of ten terraced houses with shops below. Adam's designs for the block follow the curve of the street, resulting in a convex façade. The two alternative designs are consistent in plan; differing principally in their external ornamental detailing. Neither was executed. Instead a series of much simpler houses were built, and these were demolished in the mid-twentieth century.



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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 Variant designs for terraced houses on Leith Street, 1785, unexecuted (5)