The Returning Officer

Architects I

Robert Adam, one of Britain's best-known architects, was born in Kircaldy in 1728 and went to Edinburgh University, where he was friends with David Hume (whose mausoleum he later designed) and Adam Smith. By 1761, he was architect of the King's Works but resigned when elected MP for Kinross-shire (1768-74).

Alfred Bossom was born in London and studied at the Regent Street Polytechnic and the Royal Academy. He moved to the US in 1903 and became a proponent of the "Mayan revival" style but abandoned his career in 1926 to return to the UK. He served as MP for Maidstone (1931-59). In 1934, he wrote Building to the Skies: the Romance of the Skyscraper.

Robert Tasker, whose middle name was Inigo (after Inigo Jones) was Tory MP for Islington East (1924-29) and Holborn (1935-45), when he was dropped in favour of Lord Beaverbrook's son Max Aitken. In 1928, he objected to the Architects (Registration) Bill, saying that he wanted "to see the door kept open for genius".

This article first appeared in the 27 February 2012 issue of the New Statesman, The God Wars