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  • image SM Adam volume 42/34

Reference number

SM Adam volume 42/34


[3] Preliminary design for a house showing the principal (south) front, 1777, not thought to have been executed


Elevation of a house with a five-bay, two-storey central block, set over a three quarters-sunk basement, and with a pitched roof shown alternately with balustrading or a pediment across the full breadth. The central block has a central door, behind a Doric portico supporting a pediment, as well as a string of guilloche between the ground and first storeys, and the bays are articulated by rough pencil-drawn giant Ionic columns or pilasters. The central block is flanked by two-storey wings with hipped roofs. In the ground storey of each wing is a three-bay Doric bow, behind which is a window flanked by niches or arched windows. The bow supports a tablet of festoons, and above is a Venetian window. The Venetian window on the left-hand side is supported by Doric columns and moulded along the top, while the Venetian window to the right-hand side is plain, and ornamented only with a keystone. In each wing, the whole is enclosed within a giant relieving arch, and flanked by medallions


bar scale of 2 inches to 10 feet


Elevation of a House for Mr Henderson (in the hand of William Adam) and some rough measurements and calculations given in pencil

Signed and dated

  • 24/01/1777
    Adelphi / Janry 24t. 1777.

Medium and dimensions

Pen and pencil on laid paper (533 x 376)


Adam office hand, probably Robert Adam, with title inscription in the hand of William Adam




Bolton, 1922, Volume II, p. 55
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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