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Purpose

Finished drawing showing a plan for the scheme, 1772-74, unexecuted (1)

Notes

Hradsky has suggested that this large-scale and extravagant design was intended to catch the eye of the Society of Lincoln's Inn, and that Adam had then intended to submit a more modest and affordable version of the scheme, 'a much condensed version', as suggested by the smaller pencil-drawn variant plan on this drawing.

The rooms on this are not labelled on the plan, but it has been suggested by various scholars that the round rooms were intended as libraries and/or record offices. The central colonnaded round room is reminiscent of Adam's design for the rotunda within the Edinburgh Register House, which was designed at around the same time. The large central rectangular hall was intended for ceremonial purposes and dinners, and the pre-existing seventeenth-century chapel is identifiable within the right-hand cross range from the footprint of its undercroft. In the nearside of Lincoln's Inn Fields we can see that Adam intended to convert the gardens into a piazza.

Adam's scheme for Lincoln's Inn was not executed, and instead, Sir Robert Taylor's designs were built in 1774-80. See scheme notes.

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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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