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Smirke, Sydney

Smirke, Sydney (1798–1877). English architect. He was perhaps overshadowed by his older and more famous brother, Robert Smirke, but nevertheless designed several important buildings. Among his works in London were the cupola of and additions to the Bethlehem Hospital (now the Imperial War Museum—1838–46), and two luxurious clubs, the Palladian former Conservative, 74 St James's Street (1843–5—with Basevi), and the Carlton, Pall Mall (1854–6—demolished), an essay in Venetian Renaissance Revival with elevations (in which polished granite columns were used in the façade) based on Sansovino's Library of St Mark. He also assisted his brother with the Oxford and Cambridge Club, Pall Mall (1835–8). His most celebrated building is the domed Reading Room in the British Museum (1854–7), in which the structure was of cast iron, and he also completed his brother's work at the Museum. He designed the extensions containing the exhibition galleries for the Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London (1866–76), and was Architect to Brookwood Cemetery, Woking, Surrey (1854–6).


Fawcett (ed) (1976);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
W. Papworth (1887)

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