The Bartlett School of Architecture

Dr Nina Vollenbroker

Dr Nina Vollenbroker

Senior Lecturer

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
26th Sep 2005

Research summary

Nina Vollenbröker’s research focuses on matters of domesticity and rootedness on one hand and on mobility and the transgression of spatial boundaries on the other. It investigates the role of movement, shift and change in stable spatial, cultural and political concepts by highlighting that – and considering how – these are created, enacted, questioned and revised by ongoing spatial practice.  

Nina has experience with the interpretation of a wide range of historic sources. She has worked extensively with nineteenth-century manuscript diaries, quilts and photographs at renowned American archives such as the Henry E. Huntington Library, California; The Beinecke Library at Yale University, Connecticut, the Bancroft Library at The University of California at Berkeley,  and the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Nina has presented her research at a number of international conferences including events at

Columbia University, New York,; The Heidelberg Center for American Studies, Germany and The University of Notre Dame, Indiana. Her PhD was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and recently won the Pioneer America Society’s Wilhelm Award for outstanding research in the field of material cultures studies.

Teaching summary

Nina Vollenbröker is a lecturer in architecture at the Bartlett. She is the programme coordinator of MPhil/PhD Architectural Design and the MPhil/Phd Architectural History and Theory. In addition, Nina coordinates the Bartlett’s undergraduate Architectural History and Theory programme in Year Two as well as the Architectural Research I module on the Architecture and Interdisciplinary Studies course. Nina also leads a History and Theory seminar group in Year Three and supervises MArch theses. 

Nina’s teaching at UCL is informed by her research and she focuses on a range of topics including spaces of identity, home as mobile practice and the architectural grand tour. She aims to introduce her students to research methods and types of evidence which are less commonly used by architects, such as archival work and the interpretation of everyday domestic objects and personal texts.


University College London
MArch, Professional Practice in Architecture | 2005
University College London
Cert., Professional Practice in Architecture | 2004
University College London
MSc, Architecture History and Theory | 2002
University College London
Dip., Architecture | 2001
Oxford Brookes University
B.Arch, Architecture | 1997


Nina Vollenbröker holds a Diploma in Architecture (2001) as well as an MSc (2002) and a PhD in Architectural History and Theory (2013) from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. She is an RIBA-registered architect and worked in a London design studio for several years. Nina has been a member of the Bartlett's History and Theory team since 2004 and balances her academic responsibilities with independent photographic practice.

Nina is currently completing her monograph Home on the Range: Gender, Identity and Belonging in the American West, to be published with I.B. Tauris in 2019. She has contributed essays to Borderlands in World History, 1700-1914, eds. Chad Bryant, Paul Readman (Palgrave, 2014) and to Sacred Mobilities, ed. Tim Gale, Avril Maddrell, Alan Terry, (Ashgate, 2015). Nina has also disseminated her research at academic conferences in the UK, Europe and the USA, through journals (Ground Up, 2012; Architectural Design, 2005) and other platforms (including London-based arts radio Resonance fm and The American Museum in Britain). Her photographic work has been exhibited internationally.