(b. 1723, Göteborg, d. 1796, London)


Kew Gardens, Richmond, Surrey

Chambers was more famous for his first-hand knowledge of Chinese architecture, acquired during his journeys to Asia in his youth, than for Somerset House or his other buildings in the Classical style. Commissioned to design Princess Augusta's Gardens in Kew, beside the Thames in London, Chambers furnished the park with a variety of classical and exotic buildings, including a mosque, an Alhambra, a Gothic cathedral, a Confucian house, and the famous pagoda, which has survived, though without the ornament of its gilt dragons.

Although Chambers was on the one hand a champion of the classical tradition while vehemently rejecting the archeologically faithful imitation of Greek antiquity, on the other hand he was also building in a variety of other styles, anticipating the trend of the next century.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.