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  • image SM Adam volume 36/12

Reference number

SM Adam volume 36/12


[17] Axial section of a house from east to west, c1783, unexecuted


Axial section from east to west of a two-and-a-half-storey building with a part-sunken basement, and a stepped entrance to the east. Above this, at the first-storey level there is an Ionic pilaster screen. At the basement-storey level there is a barrel-vaulted room to the west, and this and the adjoining room contain wine bins. There is a central spiral staircase that extends from the basement-storey to the first-storey level. At the ground-storey level the room to the east contains paired Tuscan columns. Beyond the staircase there is a barrel-vaulted hall, with Tuscan columns flanking a further staircase to the south. To the west there is a balustraded portico entrance, with a Tuscan colonnade and niches. At the first-storey level to the east there is a room with a central chimneypiece, flanked by entrances. Beyond this an entrance links to the spiral staircase below, and there is a space with a central entrance, set within a relieving arch articulated by Ionic columns. To the west of this there is a balustraded balcony, with an Ionic screen, and an additional entrance to the south. In the attic storey there is a central light well formed with an oculus, with additional windows providing light for the rooms to the east and west


bar scale of 1 3/4 inches to 10 feet


Whites Chocolate house (crossed through, pencil) Section from East to West (all in the hand of William Adam, underwritten in pencil) / Earl of Findlater (W.L. Spiers, modern curatorial hand, pencil)

Signed and dated

  • c1783

Medium and dimensions

Pen and pencil within a single ruled border on laid paper (614 x 484)


Office hand, possibly Robert Morison


no 4 / 4


SM Adam volumes 36/10-18 are incorrectly inscribed by William Adam as part of the scheme for White’s Chocolate House, St James’s Street, London.


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, pp. 103-4, Index, p. 45
Rowan, 1985, p. 138
King, 2001, Volume II, pp. 57, 102-6, 130
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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