SMIRKE, Robert the Younger
(b. 1781, Wigton, d. 1867, London)


English architect, born into a family of artists. He studied the Neoclassical style with Sir John Soane. In 1796, he entered the Royal Academy of London and traveled across Europe for several years before establishing his architectural career in London. Some of his major commissions include the Royal Mint in London, moved from the Tower of London to its new location in 1809, and the central façade of the British Museum from 1823 to 1831.

Smirke's Oxford and Cambridge Club at Pall Mall in London, from 1837, is equally considered a Neoclassical structure, but this building owes as much to Roman Baroque palace architecture as it does to antiquity. Certainly, the Baroque architecture of Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren in London would have been equally as important to the Neoclassical architects as the architecture of antiquity.