The Bartlett School of Architecture

Dr Christopher Leung

Dr Christopher Leung

Associate Professor

The Bartlett School of Architecture

Faculty of the Built Environment

Joined UCL
22nd Sep 2014

Research summary

My research interests lie in the environmental design of buildings, in particular investigating novel methods for harnessing different passive flows of energy and mass through buildings. I have contributed to the field through collaborations by making technical inventions in a Wind-catcher system (1999) and dynamic external insulation for buildings (DEI pavillion in 2009) leading to patent applications through UCL's commercialisation arm.

I am the lead investigator in the development of a physical solar simulation facility at the Bartlett. This is carried out in collaboration with UCL's department of Physics and Astrophysics. The facility is built to carry out physical experimentation with novel types of energy-conversion techniques, in particular taking forward my doctoral work on applying thermal actuators within the built environment.

I have been a post-doc researcher on an EPSRC-funded project investigating "Computational Seeding: Bio-receptivity in novel concrete materials" in a team working in close collaboration with UPC Barcelona and industry-partner Laing O'Rourke. My role was the design, installation and management of a comprehensive environmental monitoring campaign over a year-long observation study of eighteen full-size bio-seeded panels (10m x 1.5m). I was the lead investigator of water absorption in porous material interactions under realistic conditions through on-site empirical studies and laboratory-based physical experiments.

I have pursued individual original research with a sponsored Engineering Doctorate (Eng.D) at the Bartlett investigating the application of thermal actuator technology within the built-environment. This work has led to proof-of-concept demonstrations of the possibility for different seasonal responses driven solely by passive exchanges of thermal energy between buildings and its surroundings.

As an architect / research engineer I approach investigations with virtual computational and practical empirical tools, I have conducted a variety of observational studies through designing instrumentation systems to collect data in close collaboration with others.

I have a specialism in high-resolution robotic photographic surveys of building surfaces for gathering colour data for superimposition onto LiDAR scan data. This was used on the EPSRC-funded bio-receptive concrete observation study to capture data on surface growth over time.

I have expertise using imaging to capture the qualitative behaviour as well as evaluate the quantitative performance of working systems built to test design options. I work in the visible-band, near infra-red and LW thermal band. As an analytical tool, I have built up experience planning experiments and observational studies as well as interpreting and analysing visible and LW thermal images.

I am a fully-certified Thermographer compliant with BS EN ISO 9715:2015 Category 1, 2 and 3. In the LW infra-red I have expertise in qualitative data-capture and analysis in the spatial and thermal domains.

Teaching summary

I have previously taught in the Bartlett's M.Sc in Architectural Computing and the post-professional masters course in architectural design (MArch) in the BiotA and the Interactive Architecture Labs (IAL). I have directed the Bartlett's post-graduate M.Arch in Design for Manufacture course, a course that explores the relationship between architecture and advanced industrial manufacturing processes at the interface between design and the point of production.


University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow | 2018
University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Engineering | 2014
University College London
Other qualification, Registered Architect | 2002
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Architecture | 2001
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Diploma of Architecture | 1998
University College London
First Degree, Bachelor of Science (Honours) | 1994


I trained as an architect at the Bartlett School of Architecture where I qualified for professional practice in 2002. I followed an interdisciplinary path toward gaining experience in industry by working in environmental design consultancy and a variety of architectural practices. This gave me a diverse base of experience, from which I have adopted a holistic approach to design.

I pursue this through attempting to reconcile the physical construction of buildings and the spaces it encloses with its environmental design for human occupation, with a strong emphasis on passive approaches to environmental considerations especially thermal management. I focus on manufacturing possibilities and technical innovations for variable performance building facades.