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Purpose

Preliminary design and finished drawing showing a plan for the building, c1765-86, unexecuted (2)

Notes

A preliminary plan is included here which has previously been attributed by Alan Tait as one of Robert Adam's Grand Tour drawings (Adam volume 55/173 verso), datable to c1755-56. That it is inscribed in French does seem to corroborate this. Contrary to this, Alistair Rowan has attributed the design as a preliminary design for the Bath Assembly Rooms, which would result in a date range of 1765-68. Either way, the drawing appears to have provided early inspiration for the design of the building, and is therefore included here.

The size and grandeur of the two staircases in Adam’s finished drawing (Adam volume 28/49) are such as to suggest that the large central first-floor room was also intended for public use.

The Adam brothers’ designs for the Bath Assembly Rooms were not executed. See scheme notes.

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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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