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The Bartlett School of Architecture

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About Us

Welcome to The Bartlett School of Architecture, one of the most influential, exciting and innovative architecture schools in the world, setting the agenda for what architecture is and could be.

Building on a long tradition of innovation and ingenuity, The Bartlett School of Architecture has 261 staff of 32 different nationalities, all of whom continue to explore new challenges with a passion for inventiveness, intelligence, effectiveness and wit.

Our staff are among the most sought-after in the field and are at the forefront of international research and teaching. They are responsible for pioneering research and award-winning buildings all over the globe.

Our students are recognised for their creativity and drive. In the past 20 years, they have received more RIBA medals than any other school. Many have gone on to occupy leading roles in established practices worldwide and are now part of our vibrant alumni network.

Our vision

A student presenting his work during the Open Crits 2017
Our vision is to operate as a vital and creative agency in a world in which architecture, as both a method of critical thinking and creative exploration, is valued for its capacity to enhance human experience and understanding, improve global environmental conditions, and provide a constructive and adaptive legacy for future generations.

We seek to encourage big questions that address social, cultural and economic challenges; radical questions that approach history, technology and practice with an open and critical mind; and difficult questions that provoke liberal and imaginative ideas described through speculative projects in design and text.

On this basis, with education the prime activity of the school, our overarching objective is that our graduates exercise such values in their subsequent careers, and aim to make a positive difference in the world whatever their chosen path. 

Our values

Exterior of 22 Gordon Street in the evening © Jack Hobhouse
Creative innovation – the drive to produce inspirational and useful ideas, objects, practices, representations, systems and technologies.

Diversity – supporting an academic environment with passionate variety and multi disciplinary expertise. 

Autonomy – the freedom to make decisions on one's future, while respecting those of others.

Equity – the principle of equality of access to all resources.

Integrity – the primacy of appropriate knowledge, rigour, evidence and propositions in all critical debates.

Dignity – the right for all individuals to be treated with respect and courtesy and to be valued for their skills and abilities. 

Our Radical Origins – UCL was founded in 1826 with a bold and radical agenda, opening up higher education in England for the very first time to those of any race, class or region. That same radical ethos is carried through today. 

Academic Excellence – where staff and students are committed to making a responsible impact on the world around them through insight and ingenuity.

Innovative and Relevant Research – that tackles some of the greatest challenges facing us today in global health, sustainable cities, intercultural interaction and human wellbeing. 

Partnerships – with practically-oriented organisations (such as conservation groups, governments, NGOs, companies, consultancies, developers and architectural practices) in order to tackle real-life problems and conditions.

Local Responsibility and Engagement – we practice direct interaction with our immediate context of London, as well as with the specific situations and conditions of the many other places we operate all over the world.

Our history

Bartlett archive

In 1841, UCL became the first British university to appoint a chair of architecture, Thomas Leverton Donaldson, a founding member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The faculty was later named after its benefactor, engineer and contractor Sir Herbert Bartlett. Our alumni have made waves in the worlds of architecture, design, manufacturing, education and research, curating, urban planning, governance and policymaking, filmmaking and more. The school’s world-renowned professors include architectural historian Reyner Banham and Archigram co-founder Sir Peter Cook. Guest lecturers have ranged from Ron Arad to Alain de Botton, Daniel Libeskind to Grayson Perry.

Originally based in the UCL Quadrangle, the school moved to its 22 Gordon Street location in 1974. The building’s refurbishment was completed in 2016 and we expanded to premises in East London in 2018.
You can read more about our history and alumni in a special publication produced in 2016 for our 175th anniversary.