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  • image SM Adam volume 36/2

Reference number

SM Adam volume 36/2


[8] Design for a building, 1787, unexecuted


Longitudinal section of a three-storey building, with a sunken basement. At the ground-storey level there is a stepped Doric portico entrance. Towards the rear of the building there is an apsidal lobby and grand staircase. At the first-storey level there is a balustraded balcony and a bowed Corinthian screen. Beyond this there is a one-and-a-half-storey circular room, with a domed ceiling ornamented with a central patera, encircled by a fan and a band of rosettes and festoons. Beyond this there are figurative roundels, a band of Vitruvian scroll, compartments containing balusters supporting oil burners, and further compartments ornamented with rosettes enclosed within lozenges. The room has composite screens flanked by niches containing urns. Beyond one screen there is a staircase, which has a bowed window to the rear. Above, there is a suspended oil lantern, and the stairwell is ornamented with a tablet containing a pedestal and urn in relief, flanked by winged griffins. In the attic storey there is a circular domed room containing bookcases set within niches, and surmounted by portrait busts. To the rear of the building the exterior of the left-hand wing is shown. At the basement-storey level there are entrances set within relieving arches, with semi-circular-headed windows within relieving arches above. At the first-storey level there is an oriel window, and in the upper register there are half-height windows


bar scale of 1/4 inch to 1 foot


Whites Chocolate House / Section through the House from A to B on the Plan and some dimensions given

Signed and dated

  • 1787
    Robt Adam Architect 1787.

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil, wash and coloured washes including Naples yellow and pink on laid paper (731 x 528)


Robert Adam


no 2 / 2


J WHATMAN; Fleur-de-lis within a crowned cartouche


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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