Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Edward Middleton Barry

Edward Middleton Barry (1830 - 27 January 1880) was an English architect of the 19th century. The third son of Sir Charles Barry, Edward completed his father’s work on the Palace of Westminster and Halifax Town Hall after his death in 1860, but was also responsible for numerous other buildings of his own, particularly in London, often favouring a very classical style.

Among his most significant contributions to London’s architectural scene is the Theatre of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. The previous theatre (built by Robert Smirke in 1809) was destroyed in a fire in 1857. Edward Barry was commissioned to design the new "Royal Italian Opera" as it was then known, completing it for its official opening on 15 May 1858. He also designed the adjacent Floral Hall, a stunning glass and cast iron structure, heavily influenced by the Crystal Palace used in the Great Exhibition of 1851. The Covent Garden work was hugely influential in Barry’s appointment to design the Royal Opera House in Valletta, Malta (1866).

His other projects included:

Towards the end of his life, Barry began working with his eldest brother Charles Barry (junior). Among the projects jointly attributed to them are new chambers at Inner Temple, London (completed in 1879), and the design of the Great Eastern Hotel at London’s Liverpool Street station, completed in 1884, after Edward's death.

From 1873 until he died, Barry was professor of architecture at the Royal Academy; he remodelled the top of Burlington House’s central staircase in 1876.