- Robert and James Adam office drawings
One of the preliminary designs for the rotunda (Adam volume 1/4) has previously been alternatively attributed by Alan Tait as being for unexecuted assembly rooms in Edinburgh, and therefore dating from the Adam brothers’ Scottish office before they went on their Grand Tours. It is argued here, however, that the density of Roman motifs within this scheme were both informed and influenced by the Adam brothers’ Grand Tours. Moreover, the similarity between this drawing and the Adams’ others for the room (Adam volumes 27/50 and 28/47) is too striking to be ignored. According to Martin Hillman, a Friend and volunteer at St Cecilia's Hall, and currently writing a book on the history of the Edinburgh Musical Society, the subscription to purchase the land on which to build the music hall (later St Cecilia's Hall) was only established in June 1759. As such it is unlikely that either Robert or James would have submitted drawn designs for the building prior to their Grand Tours of 1755-58 and 1760-63 respectively.
The Adam brothers’ designs for the Bath Assembly Rooms were not executed. See scheme notes.
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).
Contents of Preliminary designs and finished drawing showing an axial section through the building, c1765-68, unexecuted (3)
-  Preliminary design showing an axial section through the central hall, c1765-68, unexecuted
-  Preliminary design showing an axial section through the rotunda, c1765-68, unexecuted
-  Finished drawing showing an axial section though the building, c1765-68, unexecuted