William Henry Playfair

Architect

1790 – 1857

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Who was William Henry Playfair?

William Henry Playfair FRSE was one of the greatest Scottish architects of the 19th century, designer of many of Edinburgh's neo-classical landmarks in the New Town.

He was born in 15 July 1790 in Russell Square, London, to James Playfair and Jessie Graham. Playfair's father was also an architect, and his uncles were John Playfair, the scientist, and William Playfair, an economist and pioneer of information graphics.

Two of his finest works are the neo-classical buildings of the National Gallery of Scotland and the Royal Scottish Academy which are situated in the centre of Edinburgh. The Playfair Project completed in 2004 joined the two historic buildings with an underground link.

Playfair joined the Free Church following the Disruption of 1843, losing his right to burial in the parish churchyard.

Playfair took David Cousin under his wing and was responsible for th latter part of his training.

Playfair died in Edinburgh on 19 March 1857, and is buried in Edinburgh's Dean Cemetery, where he designed a number of monuments for others, including Lord Jeffrey.

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Born
Jul 15, 1790
London
Parents
Ethnicity
  • Scottish people
Profession
Died
Mar 19, 1857

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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