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Finished and record drawings for the house, 1761, unexecuted (6)


These drawings show Robert Adam's initial design for reducing and regularising Osterley, with the demolition of the east range, and the ends of the north and south ranges, forming a U-shaped house. It is interesting to note that the curving external stairs on the garden (west) front of the house are shown in the section (Adam volume 43/95), but not in the plans (Adam volumes 43/96-97), and it is therefore not known if this was part of Adam's design, or a pre-existing feature.

The scheme show in these drawings was not executed, and was superseded in 1763 by Adam's executed designs for demolishing only the central portion of the east range. The open double portico was only added to this space a decade later. It has been suggested that the portico was inspired by Robert Wood's illustration of the entrance to the court of the Temple of the Sun at Palmyra.

Adam volumes 43/96, 43/93 and 43/95 are duplicates or copies of Adam office drawings within the National Trust drawings collection at Osterley. Moreover, there is an elevation for the south front of the house, an elevation of the east front exactly as built, and a sized elevation and profile of the unexecuted retaining wall pedestal to the entrance steps.



Digitisation of the Drawings Collection has been made possible through the generosity of the Leon Levy Foundation

If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: drawings@soane.org.uk

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 Finished and record drawings for the house, 1761, unexecuted (6)