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, Connecticut, the Bancroft Library at The University of California at Berkeley, and The Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Nina has received funding from The British Academy and from The Arts and Humanities Research Council. She has presented her research internationally (including at Columbia University, Heidelberg University, The University of Notre Dame and Yale University). Her work 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 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 two undergraduate Architectural History and Theory programmes. 

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, material culture and Deaf studies. 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
Other higher degree, Master of Architecture | 2005
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Certificate | 2004
University College London
Other higher degree, Master of Science | 2002
University College London
Other Postgraduate qualification (including professional), Diploma | 2001
Oxford Brookes University
First Degree, Bachelor of Architecture | 1997


Nina Vollenbröker holds a Diploma in Architecture as well as an MSc and a PhD in Architectural History and Theory from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL. She is a 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's monograph Home on the Range: Gender, Space and Belonging in the American West, will be published by Routledge later this year. Nina 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). She has disseminated her research at academic conferences in the UK, Europe, the Middle East 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.