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  • image SM Adam volume 4/40

Reference number

SM Adam volume 4/40


[3] Alternative preliminary design for the principal (north) front of a house, c1788, unexecuted


Above – Elevation of a three-storey, three-bay building, with a hipped roof. On the ground storey, in the central bay, there is a pedimented, Tuscan porte cochère with a frieze of roundels. This is flanked by windows in the first and third bays, set within relieving arches. Above this there is a string course, ornamented with Vitruvian scroll, which is repeated at the attic storey level. At the first storey level, in the central bay, there is a window set behind an Ionic screen, with capitals containing roundels and a fluted frieze. Above this there is a central fan light, flanked by roundels. In the first and third bays there are further windows, flanked by giant Ionic pilasters, and with half-height windows in the attic register. The building has a fluted frieze, and the first and third bays are surmounted by plinths supporting recumbent sphinxes Below – Plan of the porte cochére, stepped entrance and windows on the ground storey level


bar scale of 1 1/2 inches to 10 feet


North Front of the Parsonage house at Beckenham and some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • c1788

Medium and dimensions

Pen and pencil on laid paper (220 x 334)


Robert Adam


Preliminary designs for a bridge? and a tympanum


Fleur-de-lis within a crowned cartouche


Rowan, 1985, p. 66
King, 2001, Volume II, p. 122
For a full list of literature references 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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