Smirke, Sir Robert, 1781–1867, English architect, one of the most noted exponents of the classic revival. His best-known design is the main facade of the British Museum (1823–47). Other buildings in London are the General Post Office and the Royal College of Physicians. Smirke's influence resulted in a more accurate interpretation of Greek forms in the English work of the time. Upon his retirement (1847), his brother, Sydney Smirke, 1798–1877, took up the work at the British Museum, where he erected the western side of the quadrangle and the new reading room (1854–57). In 1857 he rebuilt the Carlton Club, London, on a design adopted from the Library of St. Mark's at Venice; he also built the exhibition galleries for the Royal Academy at Burlington House (1866).
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