Robert Adam Edinburgh, Georgian Architecture, Practice, Scotland, Designs, Photos

Robert Adam Architect : Architecture

Scottish Classical Architect – Georgian Buildings, UK

post updated 7 April 2023

Robert Adam, Architect – Key Projects

Robert was born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland; buried in Westminster Abbey, England

Robert Adam was not only the leading Scottish architect of the 18th century – and exponent of the Classical Georgian style – but remains Scotland’s most famous architect. He became architect to George III.

Photos + Info for his Scottish Buildings

Register House, Edinburgh:
Register House Edinburgh by Robert Adam Architect
photo © Adrian Welch

Robert Adam – Scottish Buildings

Register House, Edinburgh

Charlotte Square (north side), Edinburgh

Old College, University of Edinburgh

Hopetoun House, South Queensferry

Mellerstain Berwicks.

Dalquharran Castle, Dailly, Ayrshire

Mavisbank, Berwicks.

8 Queen St, Edinburgh

Trades Hall, Glasgow 1791

Airthrey Castle, Stirlingshire

Robert regularly worked with his architect brothers, John, William and especially James.

Old College, University of Edinburgh:
Robert Adam
photo © Adrian Welch

Robert Adam & his family – Full List of Works

(Scottish buildings in italics):

Adam Brothers
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk
Stamford, Lincs.

James Adam
Hertford, Herts – Fore Street
Assembly Rooms, 1796 – demolished
Glasgow Infirmary – demolished
Professors’ Lodgings, Old College, Glasgow University 1793
Babbity Bowster’s, Blackfriars St, Glasgow 1792
McLennan Arch, Glasgow Green 1796 adj. Homes for the Future
Tron Kirk Glasgow 1793
George Square, Glasgow – designs, unbuilt 1792

John Adam
Banff, Banffshire
Downhill Castle, Northumberland

Robert Adam
Adelphi project, London
Airthrey Castle, Stirlingshire
Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
Archerfield House (interior), East Lothian
Ballochmyle House, Ayrshire

Binley, Warks. – Church of St Bartholomew
Brockhall, Northamptonshire
Burton Constable, Yorkshire
Castle Upton, Antrim
Culzean Castle, Ayrshire
Dalquharran Castle, Dailly, Ayrshire
Dumfries House
Fort George, Inverness
George Square, Glasgow – designs, unbuilt 1792
Gifford, East Lothian – Yester House*
Gosford House, East Lothian
Glasgow Infirmary – demolished

Gunton, Norfolk – Church of St Andrew
Harewood House with John Carr of York
Headfort House, Meath
Hopetoun House South Queensferry
Jerviston, Lanarkshire

Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire
Kimbolton Castle, Hunts.
Kirkdale, Kircudbrightshire
London – Hyde Park Corner, Kenwood, Royal Hospital
Mauldslie Castle, Clyde valley, 1791
Mavisbank, Berwicks. with Sir John Clerk
Mellerstain, Berwicks. with William Adam

Milton Abbas, Dorset – Abbey
Newliston, West Lothian
No.8 Queen St, Edinburgh

Newby Hall, Yorks.
Nostell Priory, Yorks.
Old College, University of Edinburgh
Osterley Park House, London
Oxenford, Midlothian
Register House, Princes St, Edinburgh

Stowe, Bucks.
Sunnyside, Midlothian
Syon House, London
Trades Hall, Glasgow 1791

William Adam
Aberdeen – Robert Gordon’s College
Aberfeldy, Perths. – General Wade’s Bridge
Banff, Banffs. – Duff House
Chatelherault Lodge, Lanarkshire
Haddo House, Aberdeenshire
Pollokshaws, Lanarks. – Pollok House
Library, Old College, Glasgow University 1732
Haddington Town House, 1748, originally by William Adam but little of his work remains.

*Yester House – 1699-1728 by James Smith and Alexander MacGill, with interventions by William & Robert Adam

Dalquharran Castle, Scotland [follow link above for photos]
Dalquharran Castle Scotland
building image © Alastair Cook

Location: Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, north west Europe

Robert Adam Practice Information

Robert Adam was born in 1728 in Kirkcaldy but his family moved that year to Edinburgh. He attended Edinburgh High School from 1734 and joined Edinburgh University in 1743.

Robert joined John as an architect apprentice to his father William Adam in 1746. His father died in 1748 and was buried at Greyfriars Churchyard, Edinburgh. Robert then became John’s partner in the family business. The Adam brothers’ first major commission started in 1750 at Hopetoun House, west of Edinburgh.

In 1754 Robert left for his grand tour of Europe; he moved to London in 1758. In 1761 Robert was appointed ‘Architect of the King’s Works’, jointly with William Chambers, a role later taken on by his brother James.

In 1792 he died at his home, 11 Albermarle Street, London and is buried at Westminster Abbey. John Adam also died in 1792 but in Edinburgh and in 1794 James also died at Albemarle Street. William Adam (younger) died in 1821.

In Scotland Culzean Castle is generally recognised as the key building by Robert Adam. This Castle perches above a raised beach on the south-west Scottish coast. Also well known in Edinburgh are designs by Robert for South Bridge which never came to complete fruition.

Mellerstain House, Scotland [follow link above for photos]
Mellerstain House
image © Adrian Welch

Books for this Scottish Architect

1764: Ruins of the Palace of the Emperor Diocletian, at Spalatra, in Dalmatia.
1773 (with James) Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, Vol.1.
1779 (with James) Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, Vol 2.
1822 (with James) Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, Vol 3.

Sir John Soane acquired the Robert Adam drawing collection in 1833.

William Adam – Robert’s Father

Family Background

William Adam, father of Robert Adam, was born at Kircaldy in 1689.

John Adam was born 1721 and his brother James Adam in 1732.

News excerpt re this architect

Scottish Architect
New RLS Data Loaded: Robert Adam Project

Cadking Design’s Robert Adam architecture project comprises 200 full data sets on the 18th century architect, including some unexecuted designs.

This is an RLS Project. All RLS projects are accessible from the RLS portal They are seamlessly cross-searchable at
Aug 2003

There is a contemporary Robert Adam Architects, based in England who practices in the Classical style of architecture.

One of the most famous Scottish buildings by this architect is Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, south west Scotland.

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