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  • image SM Adam volume 31/6

Reference number

SM Adam volume 31/6


[12] Finished drawing for the south building, 1784, unexecuted


Axial section of a three-storey building with a raised, pedimented Corinthian portico in the principal front. The portico has rustication at the ground-storey level, a string course of guilloche, a frieze of fluting and capitals containing rosettes. The pediment is surmounted by acroteria supporting statuary and there is a balustraded roof behind. Beyond this there is a rotunda, surmounted by a stepped dome containing an oculus. The drum supporting the dome has oculi windows and a frieze of swags and rosettes. The rotunda forms a rear bow front, with a Venetian window at the ground-storey level. Above this there is a panel ornamented with an urn flanked by half putti and arabesques, and there is a guilloche string course. In the upper register there are quarter-height windows, with a frieze of fluting and rosettes above. Within, at the ground-storey level, there is a central passage flanked by rooms. At the first-storey level there is a room with mirrored entrances and the second-storey level room has three entrances


bar scale of 1 3/8 inches to 10 feet


Section across the Building upon the line A.B. shewing the hights of the different Storys / Kings College Cambridge (in the hand of William Adam, underwritten in pencil) / No 20 (pencil)

Signed and dated

  • 1784
    Robt Adam Arch.t 1784.

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil, wash and coloured washes including pink and Naples yellow within a double ruled border on laid paper (612 x 477)


Robert Adam, with part title inscription in the hand of William Adam


Bolton, 1922, Volume II, pp. 173-79; Index, p. 6
King, 2001, Volume II, p. 53
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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