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  • image SM Adam volume 10/36

Reference number

SM Adam volume 10/36


[5] Preliminary design for a building, c1787, unexecuted


Elevation of a three-storey, three-bay building, with a slight incline from right to left. The central bay contains a stepped entrance, flanked by semi-circular-headed windows, all set within a Doric portico. Above this there is a central balustraded window surmounted by a lunette, and set behind a bowed Corinthian screen. This is surmounted by a balustraded half-height, tripartite window, a pediment and a dome supporting statuary(?) In the first bay there is an alternative design, with full-height windows flanked by columns at the ground-storey level, and one-and-a-quarter-height windows at the first-storey level. This is surmounted by figurative roundels, three-quarter-height windows at the second storey level, and quarter-height windows in the upper register. In the third bay the ground-storey tripartite window is set behind a Doric screen. At the first-storey level there is a balustraded tripartite window, with an Ionic screen, with a figurative roundel above, all set within a relieving arch. This is flanked by paired giant Corinthian columns, and there is a frieze of rosettes and festoons. In the upper register there is a lunette window, flanked by Doric half-columns, and this is surmounted alternatively by a pedestal base and a pediment


bar scale of 1 3/4 inches to 10 feet

Signed and dated

  • c1787

Medium and dimensions

Pencil on laid paper (304 x 415)


Robert Adam




Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index, p. 50
Sheppard, 1960, pp. 457-58
King, 2001, Volume II, p. 57
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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