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  • image SM Adam volume 28/17

Reference number

SM Adam volume 28/17


[6] Design for the Haymarket (east) front, c1789, unexecuted


Elevation of a four-storey building, formed with several blocks, and with rustication at the ground-storey level. The central five-bay block forms a raised, two-storey, balustraded portico, articulated by Corinthian columns. Within, there are semi-circular-headed windows, with figurative panels and half-height windows above. The portico has a frieze of swags, capitals containing roundels, and is surmounted by a royal coat of arms, flanked by a recumbent lion and unicorn, with acroteria supporting statuary beyond. All this is surmounted by a drum ornamented with swags and rosettes, and supporting a stepped, ribbed dome with a turret and spire. The central block is flanked by three-bay link buildings, with an arcade at the ground-storey level, balustraded windows surmounted by figurative panels at the first-storey level, and with half-height windows at the second-storey level. The upper register contains oculi flanked by short pilasters. This is flanked by five-bay blocks, surmounted by broken pediments. At the ground-storey level there are three-bay, pedimented, Tuscan porte cochères, with fluted friezes, surmounted by urns and reclining figures. At the first-storey level there are tripartite windows, set behind Ionic screens, and within apses. This is flanked by balustraded windows, with roundels above. At the second-storey level, there are half-height windows in the first and fifth bays, and central tablets with aprons of guttae. In the upper register, the block on the left-hand side has a balustraded, tripartite window, flanked by further windows, with a lion and unicorn set within the tympanum, and the pediment surmounted by acroteria supporting statuary. The block on the right-hand side has a tripartite window partially set within the tympanum, and the pediment is surmounted by a turret and spire, flanked by acroteria supporting statuary. The outer five-bay blocks are flanked by four-storey, single-bay, pedimented pavilions, with Venetian windows at the ground-storey level. Above this, there are balustraded Venetian windows set within relieving arches, and tripartite windows, all flanked by giant Corinthian pilasters. The pavilions are surmounted by plinths supporting statuary bearing urns


bar scale of 1 inch to 10 feet


Front of the Opera House towards the Haymarket (in the hand of William Adam)

Signed and dated

  • c1789

Medium and dimensions

Pen, pencil and wash on laid paper (597 x 461)


Office hand, possibly Robert Morison or Daniel Robertson, with title inscription in the hand of William Adam




Bolton, 1922, Volume II, Index p. 40
Sheppard, 1960, Volume XXIX, (i), p. 249
For a full list of literature references see scheme notes.



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