Architect and designer, son
of William Adam. He and his rival William Chambers were the leading
British architects in the second half of the 18th century. After training
under his father, he embarked on a Grand Tour in 1754; this ended early in
1758 when he settled in London rather than Edinburgh. There he established
a practice that was transformed into a partnership with his younger
brother James after the latter’s return in 1763 from his own Grand Tour.
By then, however, the Adam style was formed, and Robert remained the
partnership’s driving force and principal designer until his death. He not
only developed a distinctive and highly influential style but further
refined it through his large number of commissions, earning fame and a
certain amount of fortune along the way. Eminently successful, he left an
indelible stamp on British architecture and interior decoration and on
Osterley Park House: exterior, view from SW. c. 1761-1768
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