Piedmontese architect and draughtsman, a pupil of Vittone, known as Il Torquelino, he accompanied Robert Wood (1716–71) and James Dawkins (1722–57) to Asia Minor (1750–1): he was in England from 1751 preparing drawings for The Ruins of Palmyra (1753) and The Ruins of Balbec (1757). He was probably the designer (1755) of the main rooms in the Duke of Norfolk's house in St James's Square (by Brettingham) which had motifs derived from the Antique remains at Palmyra mixed with Italian Rococo themes. Similar devices occur in the Racconigi Palace, Turin (1756–7), in Stratfield Saye, Hants., and Stowe, Bucks. Borra redecorated the State Bedroom and Dressing Room at Stowe and Neo-Classicized several fabriques there (he made designs for the Temple of Concord and Victory, and altered the Rotunda (1752), the Boycott Pavilions (1758), the Oxford Gate (c.1760), and the Lake Pavilions (c.1761). Richard Chandler's 1737–1810 expedition (1764–66) to collect material for Ionian Antiquities (1769) included Revett and William Edmund Pars (1742–82ߞwho was influenced by Borra's work).
Colvin (1995);E. Harris (1990);Zoller (1996)