Sir William Chambers

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Chambers, Sir William,

1723–96, English architect, b. Gothenburg, Sweden. He traveled extensively in the East Indies and in China making drawings of gardens and buildings, many of which were later published. He studied architecture in France and Italy and established (1755) his practice in England where he designed decorative architecture for Kew Gardens. From the founding (1768) of the Royal Academy to the end of his life, Chambers was a dominant figure in its councils. His Treatise on the Decorative Part of Civil Architecture (1759) became a standard and influential work on classic design. The foremost official architect of his day in England, he continued the neo-Palladian tradition, which he adapted to the prevailing classical taste. His chief work, Somerset House, is an extensive block of government offices, begun in 1776. He also had charge of various alterations at Trinity College, Dublin, and designed additions to Blenheim Palace, the observatory in Richmond Park, and casinos in many parks of the nobility. He became private architect to King George III and was made (1782) surveyor general. Chambers was buried in Westminster Abbey.

Bibliography

See study by J. Harris (1971).

References in classic literature ?
Chambers did his stealing, and got the peach stones, apple cores, and melon rinds for his share.
Here the reptile stopped and commenced to go over the poor devil carefully, and as it did so its back turned toward me for an instant, and in that instant I gave two mighty leaps that carried me out of the chamber into the corridor beyond, down which I raced with all the speed I could command.
Yes; release me and I will give you entrance to the other horror chamber, if you wish.
Ghek, mounted upon his rykor, paced the floor of the tower chamber in which he had been ordered to remain.
As they spied me there was a concerted rush by those nearest the entrance where we stood, but a line of radium bulbs inset along the threshold of their chamber brought them to a sudden halt--evidently they dared not cross that line of light.
Then a door opened at the far side of the chamber and a strange, dried up, little mummy of a man came toward me.
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you " -- here I opened wide the door; Darkness there and nothing more.
Back into the chamber turning, all my sour within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping something louder than before.
When I left my chamber, at half-past ten, my father was already at work in the laboratory.
Cautiously he moved forward until his out-stretched hand touched a wall, then very slowly he traveled around the four walls of the chamber.
In vain did the poor girl summon up her courage; on entering this chamber she was stricken with horror.
He therefore -- as being in possession of the key, he might enter Rosa's chamber whenever he liked -- thought it better to wait and to take it either an hour before or after opening, and to start on the instant to Haarlem, where the tulip would be before the judges of the committee before any one else could put in a reclamation.