A Scottish architect
, the master of the Neo-Classical
style of the later eighteenth century
Born in Kirkcaldy in Fifeshire in 1728, son of the stonemason and later architect William Adam, and studied at Edinburgh University but without graduating. On his father's death he joined the Adam Brothers family firm in Edinburgh, and went on the Grand Tour to develop his appreciation of continental and ancient architecture.
Notable works in London include Fitzroy Square, Portland Place, and the Admiralty Arch. The magnificent country houses of Kenwood in Hampstead and Osterley Park and Syon House to the west are now also within London. The Adelphi near the Strand was demolished in 1936.
His facades are wide and imposing, but his interiors are beautifully proportioned, full of light and colour, and delicate details. He used all manner of classical models for inspiration, including Etruscan painting (one such room still visible at Osterley Park).
He died in London in 1792.