The Architectural and Urban History Group

Recent News


Neil Jackson will be giving the Annual Lecture of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain in October 2017.

Marco Iuliano was invited to speak at the University of Cambridge, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), in November.

Marco Iuliano has been invited by the Research Executive Agency of the European Commission (REA) to serve on the Horizon 2020 evaluation panel, Brussels, 2017.

In November, Marco Iuliano organized, with the RIBA, the Colin Rowe Lecture Series.


Neil Jackson’s review of Elain Harwood’s award-winning book, Space, Hope and Brutalism, was published in Architectural History 59 in November.

Marco Iuliano’s essay ‘Le Corbusier and Lucien Hervé: pair or peers?’ was published in The Journal of Architecture in November.

Alex Buchanan and Professor Harold Mytum, Director of the Centre for Manx Studies, have been awarded £49,675 (subject to contract) to develop a national framework and research agenda for the historic built environment as part of Historic England’s National Heritage Protection Plan. 

Soumyen Bandyopadhyay’s final report entitled Al-Hamra - Misfat Al Abriyin (Oman): Tourism Development Plan has been submitted to the Ministry of Tourism in Oman.

Fei Chen, in collaboration with Dr James White at the University of Glasgow, organised a research seminar in October entitled Transnational Design Governance: Theory and Practice. The seminar featured presentations by Professor Matthew Carmona (UCL); Professor Tim Heath (University of Nottingham); Professor Ali Mandanipour (Newcastle University); and Barry Sellers (London Borough of Wandsworth).  It was attended by staff, students from the university and practitioners in the region.

Mark Swenarton and Chris Parker have published 'Building Ideas: the Oakley house extension by Richard MacCormac' in Construction Historian, no. 1 (2016), pp 9-11.

Barnabas Calder has contributed an entry on ‘Sighthill’ to Chris Leslie and Johnny Rodger’s edited volume, Disappearing Glasgow: a Photographic Journey published by Freight Books in October.

Torsten Schmiedeknecht chaired a session at the 6th International Conference on Competitions at Leeds Beckett University in October.

In October, Rob Kronenburg introduced the Jacques Tati film Mon Oncle at an outreach event for the Liverpool Architectural Society at FACT Liverpool.

Alex Buchanan gave a paper entitled ‘From materiality to written record: the challenge of the object-as-record’ to the Art Libraries Society (ARLIS) conference in Brighton in October.

Barnabas Calder discussed his book Raw Concrete with the novelist Honor Gavin at the Birmingham Literary Festival in October.

Neil Jackson has contributed a short essay on the Izumo Grand Shrine at Izumo, Japan, as the Building of the Month (for October/November) to the Twentieth-century Society website. 


Rosa Urbana Gutierrez has published an article entitled ‘Glass and Light: Dialectics of Mediation’ in Arquitectura Viva

Feil Chen, working with the Bluecoat and Xin Ran, has received a LiNK knowledge exchange grant from the University of Liverpool for £1170.

In October, Marco Iuliano was an invited speaker for ‘On the Surface’ at the University of Porto School of Architecture. 

In October, Barnabas Calderwas a panellist at the ‘Is Brutalism Back?’ session at the Institute of Ideas ‘Battle of Ideas’ festival at the Barbican, London.

In October, Neil Jackson presented a lecture on ‘Mackintosh, Muthesius and Japan’ to the Society for the Arts and Crafts Movement in Surrey.

Barnabas Calder presented the lecture The Beauty of Brutalism at the National Theatre, London, for London Open House in September.  He also gave an evening tour of the Royal College of Physicians, London, for Open City, the charity which runs London Open House. 

Torsten Schmiedeknecht has won a RIBA Research Trust Awards worth £6,000 for his study of ‘The Representation of Modern Architecture through Illustrations in Post-war British Children's Literature’. 

Alex Buchanan, together with Prof Santiago Huerta of the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid and Dr James Campbell of the University of Cambridge ran the conference Robert Willis: Science, Technology and Architecture in the Nineteenth Century at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, in September. For details of the symposium, see here.  Alex Buchanan gave a paper entitled ‘Robert Willis and his Networks of Knowledge’ and Nick Webb presented a paper entitled ‘Willis’s investigations into medieval vaults: a digital re-presentation.’ The digital content of Nick’s talk can be accessed here.

Nick Webb co-organised a Contextualised Digital Heirtage Workshop at eCAADe 2016, which is summarised in a short paper: D Di Mascio, A Kepczynska-Walczak & N Webb, Contextualized Digital Heritage Workshop - Oulu. (University of Oulu, Finland: 2016), details of which can be found here.  He also presented a co-authored paper at the conference: N Webb, A Buchanan,  & J R  Peterson, ’Modelling Medieval Vaults: Comparing Digital Surveying Techniques to Enhance our Understanding of Gothic Architecture’. The paper can be found here.This is published in Education and Research in Computer Aided Architectural Design in Europe, 2 (University of Oulu, Finland: 2016). 

Barnabas Calder presented the lecture Brutalism: Architecture's Finest Hour? at the University of Edinburgh School of Architecture in September.

In September, Rob Kronenburg presented a paper on ‘Popular Music Architecture – The Significance of Live Performance Venue Design’ at the International Association for the Study of Popular Music’s UK and Ireland International Conference at the University of Sussex.

Neil Jackson gave a paper entitled ‘Impolite Architecture: The “Message” of the Nineteenth-century Speculative House’ at the conference, The Medium and the Message, held at the Barber Institute of Fine Art, University of Birmingham, in July.

In July, Soumyen Bandyopadhyay ran the symposium Settled Topographies organized by the Centre for Architecture and Cultural Heritage of India.  The event was held at the University of Liverpool.

Iain Jackson, together with Ola Uduku, have published ''Sub-Saharan Africa” in G. A Bremner [ed], Architecture and Urbanism in the British Empire, (Oxford University Press, 2016).

Christina Malathouni has completed her Knowledge Exchange & Impact Voucher project. The short film, Future Heritage, produced as part of the project is available to view:

Barnabas Calder presented a paper entitled Architecture’s Finest Hour: 1960’s Brutalism to DoCoMoMo UK in London in July.

Alex Buchanan and Nick Webb ran the conference Modelling Medieval Vaults at the University of Liverpool in London, 14-15 July 2016.  Alex Buchanan gave a paper, ‘Wells cathedral choir aisle vaults: issues of interpretation’ and Nick Webb gave one entitled ‘Wells Cathedral Choir Aisle Vaults: Digital Documentation and Analysis’.

Marco Iuliano has published 'Alma de Arquitecto’ in [ed] Iñaki Bergera Lucien Hervé. Fotógrafo a su pesar, (Barcelona: Arquia Documental, 32,  2016).

Nick Webb and Zoe Alker presented a paper entitled ‘Building Bentham’s Panopticon’ at the conferenceDigital Panopticon: Penal History in the Digital Age held at the University of Tasmania, Hobart, in June. 

Iain Jackson published "The architecture of the British Mandate in Iraq: nation-building and state creation”, Journal of Architecture, vol 21, no 3.

Barnabas Calder published a chapter entitled ‘Can the Concrete Buildings of Brutalism be Beautiful?’ in Aeon in April.

Christina Malathouni’s article, ‘Claude Bragdon’s “Projective Ornament”: mineral, vegetable, animal, human’, has recently been published in a special issue of The Architectural Theory Review,vol 20, no 3.  The article is also available on-line.  See:

Marco Iuliano obtained a 2016 British Academy/Accademia dei Lincei Postdoctoral Fellowship as sponsor and supervisor for Dr Carla Molinari for the project 'Peter Greenaway and Montage.’


Mark Swenarton has been awarded a Leverhulme Emeritus Fellowship of £8,220 for his book on Cook's Camden.

The Cambridgeshire Association for Local History’s prize for a book that has made a significant contribution to the history of the county has awarded Alex Buchanan for her book, Robert Willis (1800-75) and the Foundation of Architectural History (Boydell & Brewer, 2013).

Neil Jackson’s review of ‘The World of Charles and Ray Eames’, held at The Barbican Art Gallery, London, has been published in The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 75, 2, June 2016, pp. 237-38.

Nick Webb and André Brown's paper on ‘Digital Re-analysis of Lost Architecture and the Particular Case of Lutyens’ Liverpool Metropolital Cathedral’ is available in the on-line journal, Frontiers of Architectural Research, 5, 2, June 2016, pp. 265-275 [].

The Society of Antiquaries of London has awarded Nick Webb and Alex Buchanan £500 to document the vaults at Ely Cathedral.

Iain Jackson has published a paper on ‘The Architecture of the British Mandate in Iraq: nation building and state creation’ in The Journal of Architecture, 21, 3, 2016, pp. 375-417.

Christina Malahtouni is now a member of the IHBC NW Events sub-committee, in relation to its preparation of next year’s IHBC National Conference (or else, Annual School) which will take place in Manchester in June 2017.

Neil Jackson will be chairing a paper session entitled ‘’A Narrow Place’: Architecture and the Scottish Diaspora’, at the 2017 Annual Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians (USA) which will be held in Glasgow (Scotland). This paper session is being run on behalf of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and abstracts are now invited. 

Barnabas Calder’s new book Raw Concrete: The Beauty of Brutalism was published by Penguin Random House in April.

In April, Fei Chen presented a paper entitled 'Heritage conservation through planning: A comparison of principles and policies in the UK and China' at the 2016 International Symposium on ‘Reclaiming Identity and (Re)Materialising Pasts: Approaches to Heritage Conservation in China’ held in XJTLU, Suzhou, China.

The exhibition Architecture on the Fringes: Cultural Topography of Oman is being curated by Soumyen Bandyopadhyay at the Roche Library, Aga Khan Documntation Centre, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 10 March until 31 May 2016. 

For more information see: (; Digital:

In March, Soumyen Bandyopadhyay co-organised the symposium, New Frontiers of Gulf Urbanism and delivered a lecture entitled ‘Oman: Between politics and culture; settlement transformations’ as part of the AKDC and Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT Cambridge, Massachusetts.  He also delivered the special lecture, ‘Seventeenth-century Omani ‘new towns’ and from ‘bayt’ to ‘hisn’’ as part of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture’s ‘An evening with …’ lecture series at MIT.

'Built to Sell: the Third Rate speculative house in London' was the title of Neil Jackson's paper presented at the conference on Architecture and Experience in the Nineteenth Century held at St John's College, Oxford, on 17 and 18 March.

Soumyen Bandyopadhyay has received around £30,000, from a private funder for the development of appropriate adaptive reuse and restoration approaches for Salalah (Bait Al sail House).

In March, Fei Chen gave paper entitled 'Understanding historical urbanism in Chinese cities through urban micromorphology' at the conference on The Structure of Infrastructure: Material Networks in Early Urban Communities, held in Liverpool. The conference was organised jointly by the University of Liverpool and Uppsala University. 

Fei Chen was invited to give a talk in the Urban Design Education Symposium organised by the AA School of Architecture, London, in February 2016. Her presentation was titled 'Chinese Urban Design: Practice and Challenges'.

Watch the video of the presentation at

Christina Malathouni has had an essay entitled ‘Gradations of Consciousness and Claude Bragdon’s ‘Space Conquest”’ published in John Shannon Hendrix and Lorens Eyan Holm [eds], Architecture and the Unconscious (Routledge, 2016).

Fei Chen presented her paper 'Make A House Home: Typomorphology and Sense of Place' at an interdisciplinary symposium on Family, Home, House, organised by ACROSS Architecture and the London Confucius Institute and held at SOAS, University of London, on 27 February. 

In January, Fei Chen's paper 'The design dimension of China’s planning system: urban design for development control' was published in the Journal International Planning Studies, 21(1), 81-100. 

This has been made Gold Open Access so can be download from 

Soumyen Bandyopadhyay (with M H Reza and Q A Mowla) published a paper entitled ‘Traces of Buddhist architecture in Gupta and post-Gupta Bengal: Evidence from inscriptions and literature’ in the Journal of Eurasian Studies, 7(3), 9-19.

Tracing the Past is the name of a new website showing work by Alex Buchanan and Nick Webb which investigates medieval vault design in the British Isles using contemporary digital techniques. 

For more information visit

Alex Buchanan and Nick Webb won an Interdisciplinary Research Fund grant of £5,000 (in Nick’s name) and a Society of Antiquaries of London travel grant of £498 (in Alex’s name).

In January, Marco Iuliano participated in the book launch, at Milano Polytechnic, Italy, of Alan Berman’s Stirling + Wilford: American Buildings (Artifice, 2014), in which both he and Nick Ray have an essay.

Neil Jackson has been co-opted onto the Events Committee of the Victorian Society.

Alex Buchanan has published “Solo para obtener informacion: John Ruskin y la arqueologia de la arquitectura’, in Quintana 13 (2014), 35-78.  


On 11 November Neil Jackson presented a seminar paper on 'Le Corbusier and Japan' to the Japan Research Centre at SOAS, University of London.

'F W Troup: si requiris monumentum, circumspice', was the title of Neil Jackson's lecture to the Victorian Society on 9 November. The lecture was held in the hall of the Art Worker's Guild, designed by Frank Troup in 1913.

Barnabas Calder has been responding to the ever-growing interest in Denys Lasdun.  Barnabas's article, ‘”The sweetest music you will ever hear”: structural and programmatic uses of concrete by Denys Lasdun & Partners’ has been published in The Journal of Architecture (20, 3, 2015); on 11 September he joined a panel discussion on the building at the National Theatre; and as part of Open House London 2015, he lectured and gave tours of the Royal College of Physicians.

Barnabas Calder and Neil Jackson both have chapters in Alistair Fair’s edited book, Setting the Scene: Perspectives on Twentieth-Century Theatre Architecture (Ashgate, 2015), and Barnabas has a further chapter in Alternative Visions of Post-War Reconstruction: Creating the modern townscape (Routledge, 2015) edited by John Pendlebury, Erdem Erten and Peter Larkham.

Dr Iain Jackson has been awarded a British Academy International Partnership and Mobility Scheme (£30k) to investigate the architecture of 20th Century Ghana. He will be working in collaboration with Dr Rexford Assasie Oppong from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana.

On 6 June, Alex Buchanan presented a paper entitled ‘Construction in the Work of Robert Willis’ in a session on ‘Construction Professionals’ at the 5th International Congress on Construction History held in Chicago.  Willis (1800-1875) was a pioneer of what he termed ‘the history of the science of construction’. 

For more information see

On 1 June, Fei Chen presented her work entitled 'Interrogate Urban Form with Culture in the Chinese Context' at the Bartlett Morphology Group workshop at University College London.

On 19 May, for the final talk in the Spring 2015 AA Collections/AAXX100 Lectures series, PhD student Patrick Zamarian presented a lecture at the Architectural Association in London, based on his ongoing research, entitled '"Moth-Eaten Old Students & Noisy Little Schoolboys" – The AA in the Post-war Era'.

Mark Swenarton presented an overview of his research findings on 'Cook's Camden' to a large DoCoMoMo audience in London on 20 May.

Alex Buchanan presented a paper entitled ‘Robert Willis: Writing about Churches in the Nineteenth Century’  at the Annual Conference of the Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust on 9 May. Her paper discussed, through the examination of unpublished lectures and archive material, Willis’s approach to the study of the parish church.

Iain Jackson presented a lecture entitled 'From Croydon to Chandigarh: Jane Drew and the Creation of Tropical Modernism' at the Architectural Association, London, on 28 April.

Neil Jackson presented a paper on Japanese architecture entitled 'Gaikukojin and Giyōfu Western Architecture in Japan', in a session on 'The Invaluable Indegene: Local Expertise in the Imperial Context', at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Society of Architectural Historians held in Chicago, Illinois, on 16 April.

Fei Chen gave a lecture on migrants, heritage and identity building in contemporary Chinese cities in response to the exhibition 'Memorandum of Understanding' at the Bluecoat, Liverpool, on 15 April.

Alexandrina Buchanan and Nick Webb (together with J.R. Peterson from the School of Histories, Languages and Cultures) have received funding from the Paul Mellon Centre for the Study of British Art to create, using 3D laser-scanning, a digital model of the aisle vaults of the medieval gothic presbytery at Wells Cathedral in order to investigate their construction.

Neil Jackson's article on 'Case Study House 21: the (Re)making of a Collector's Item' has been published in The Getty Research Journal, 7, 2015.

Mark Swenarton was inducted as an Honorary Fellow of the RIBA on 2 February 2015. 

Barnabas Calder, whose exhibition, 'The Anatomy of a Building: Denys Lasdun and the Royal College of Physicians' was recently showing at the Royal College of Physicians in Regent’s Park, London, spoke on the BBC Radio 3 programme 'Free Thinking' on 15 January.

To hear him, click on ‘Brutalist Architecture’ on

Nabil Mohareb's PhD dissertation 'Analysing urban edges: spatial analysis of historic walled cities in the Arab World' has been accepted and he will be graduating this summer.

In January 2015, as part of the Victorian Society's 'Private Realms 2' winter lecture series, Neil Jackson spoke on Sir Titus Salt, Lockwood & Mawson, and Saltaire.

Simon Pepper’s essay, ‘The Beginnings of High Rise Social Housing in the long 1940s: the case of the LCC and the Woodberry Down estate,’ in included in Mark Swenarton, Tom Avermaete and Dirk Van Den Heuvel (eds.) Architecture and the Welfare State (London: Routledge, 2015). 

Mark Swenarton has edited, with Tom Avermaete (TU Delft) and Dirk van den Heuvel (Het Nieuw Instituut, Rotterdam), Architecture and the Welfare State (London: Routledge, 2015), a selection of essays resulting from a symposium held at the Liverpool School of Architecture in 2012.  The book contains Mark’s own essay, ‘High Density without High Rise: Housing Experiments of the 1950s by Patrick Hodgkinson.’


Christina Malathouni was one of the team that won a 2014 Heritage Alliance Heroes Award for its successful 'Save Preston Bus Station' campaign.

For more information visit: Heritage Alliance Heroes Award Scheme Winners 2014

Neil Jackson presented his lecture Found in Translation: Mackintosh, Muthesius and Japan to the Society of Antiquaries of London in November 2014 and also as part of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh London and South East Events' winter lecture series in January 2015.

In November 2014 Mark Swenarton presented a paper on ‘Homes Fit for Heroes’ as part of the Victorian Society and the Twentieth Century Society’s joint conference on The Shadow of 1914: British Architecture and Design 1900-1925 held at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

In November Barnabas Calder gave a lecture at the Royal College of Physicians, London, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of Denys Lasdun's great headquarters building. The two other speakers at the event were Lord Foster and the CEO of English Heritage, Simon Thurley. The discussion was chaired by William J R Curtis.

In November 2014, Alexandrina Buchanan gave a paper entitled 'Gained in Translation: Architectural Drawing and Three-Dimensional Geometry' at the Invention and Imagination in British Art and Architecture, 600-1500 conference at the British Museum, organised by the Paul Mellon Centre for British Art.  

‘Defending the Frontiers of Venice: Fortification and Defensive Strategy in the Friuli before Palmanova,’ is the title of Simon Pepper’s essay in Francesco Paolo Fiore (ed.), L’Architettura militare di Venezia in Terraferma e in Adriatico fra XVI e XVII secolo (Firenze: Leo S. Olschi editore, 2014).