TRAVEL

Eleanor O’Kane takes us on a tour in­spired by the great 18th-cen­tury ar­chi­tect and de­signer Robert Adam, and dis­cov­ers how his Euro­pean trav­els shaped some of the na­tion’s best-loved build­ings and in­te­ri­ors

Homes and Antiques Magazine - - CONTENTS -

Eleanor O’Kane takes us on a tour in­spired by the great 18th-cen­tury ar­chi­tect Robert Adam. Ex­pect lav­ish houses and gor­geous gar­dens...

Be­fore the gap year there was the Grand Tour. In the 17th and 18th cen­turies, young men and women of wealth and stand­ing would visit the great cul­tural sites of Europe, drink­ing in artis­tic and in­tel­lec­tual achieve­ments of cen­turies past. Back home, the riches this priv­i­leged pil­grim­age re­vealed – from the trea­sures of Florence’s U! zi gallery to the ru­ins of Pom­peii – would have a last­ing e"ect on in­te­ri­ors and ar­chi­tec­ture the length of Bri­tain. One of our great­est ar­chi­tects, Robert Adam, was deeply in #uenced by his ex­pe­ri­ences in Europe. Born in Fife, Scot­land, in 1728 to a prom­i­nent ar­chi­tect, Adam was ed­u­cated in Ed­in­burgh. He be­gan his trav­els in 1754 and spent sev­eral years in Rome, hon­ing his architectural draw­ing skills. On his re­turn, Adam set up an ar­chi­tects’ prac­tice in London with his brother James and be­gan to chal­lenge the styles of the day. They moved away from the rigid pro­por­tions of Ge­or­gian de­sign, play­ing with scale and aes­thetic. To ap­pre­ci­ate Adam’s in #uence, take a Grand Tour of your own…

RIGHT Robert Adam’s sweep­ing oval stair­case is the dra­matic cen­tre­piece of Culzean Cas­tle.

BE­LOW Perched re­splen­dently on the Ayr­shire cliffs, Culzean Cas­tle was built as a lav­ish coun­try house for the 10th Earl of Cas­silis in 1792. The 260-hectare es­tate fol­lows miles of sandy coast­line and in­cor­po­rates for­mal gar­dens, an ice-house, a Swan Pond and fruit-filled glasshouses.

Robert Adam (1728-1792), Scot­tish ar­chi­tect. Oil on can­vas, c1770, at­trib­uted to George Wil­li­son.

LEFT The Univer­sity of Ed­in­burgh’s Old Col­lege building, de­signed by Adam.

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