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Architecture and Historic Urban Environments MA

This programme pioneers a fresh and critical approach to architecture and historic urban environments at a world-leading architecture school.

The Barbican, London

About the programme

Preservation, far from safeguarding our built heritage, is having an adverse effect on historic urban environments. This course pioneers a fresh and critical approach that promotes architectural and artistic interventions which rejuvenate and reinterpret historic environments at all scales, from innovative street furniture to city planning. 

Students examine cities from around the world, beginning with one of the most exciting of all, London. Working alongside historians and researchers from The Survey of London team, students learn the processes of urban surveying, recording, mapping and analysis alongside urban strategies and key issues concerning cultural heritage. 

In tandem with developing a robust theoretical and practical understanding of sites, students have the opportunity to develop their own design practice, thinking creatively about how historic urban environments might thrive, rather than just survive in the future. 

Programme highlights 

  • Work with a team of outstanding designers, researchers and historians to develop creative approaches to historic urban environments 
  • Develop a detailed understanding of urban surveying, recording and mapping, informed by field trips to world-renowned sites
  • Exhibit your dissertation or major project as part of the course's annual exhibition. 

Modules 

Core modules 

  • Design Practice for Historic Environments
  • Design Research Methods for Historic Environments
  • Issues in Historic Urban Environments
  • Surveying and Recording of Cities
  • Urban Redevelopment for Historic Environments

Optional modules


Key staff

Other staff

Dr Eva Branscome

Dr Eva Branscome is an Austrian-American architectural historian and writer based in London. Her accomplishments in protecting the architectural heritage of the recent past, when working for the Twentieth Century Society, led to the inclusion of more than 50 post-war buildings on the statutory list of historic buildings in England and Scotland (including the US Embassy, Barbican Estate, Lloyds Building, and University of East Anglia).

Her doctorate at the Bartlett School of Architecture, which was supervised by Professor Adrian Forty, involved a rethinking of Postmodernism through the work of the celebrated Austrian architect, Hans Hollein. On completing her thesis, she was awarded a Postdoctoral Fellowship by the Gerda Henkel Foundation to research into the Museum Abteiberg in Mönchengladbach, a building that was widely regarded as Hollein’s masterpiece when it opened in the early-1980s.

Eva has taught at University College London since 2012, both in the Bartlett and in the History of Art Department. She has published many essays on the history of modern architecture, and her book on Hans Hollein and Postmodernism: Art and Architecture on Austria, 1958-1985, which is based upon her PhD thesis, will be published by Routledge in late-2017.

Hannah Corlett

Hannah Corlett is co-founder and director of ASSEMBLAGE, a London-based studio of architects and urban designers. Key projects by the studio include winning schemes in the international competitions for the $1bn Iraqi parliament complex and 50-hectare masterplan and the UN-HABITAT (United Nations Agency for Human Settlements) fully integrated, economic housing settlements in Iraq. Currently ASSEMBLAGE is leading the new design district at the heart of the Greenwich Peninsula Masterplan. Prior to leading design at MA-AHUE this Hannah led a Masters Unit in Urban Design at The Bartlett undertaking long-term research of the challenges of global urbanisation, specialising in non-regulated housing settlements. Prior to ASSEMBLAGE, Corlett worked with Niall McLaughlin and Will Alsop and studied at the The Bartlett and Winchester School of Art. Corlett was Highly Commended at the International Women in Architecture Awards in 2014 and is a member of the academic steering committee for CLOUD (Centre for London Urban Design Research).

Website: assemblage.co

Dr Edward Denison

Dr Edward Denison is a Lecturer at The Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), where he is also Director of the MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments. His research focuses on modernism and non-western experiences of architectural modernity. Over the past two decades he has worked on a variety of research and heritage projects in different global contexts, including Asia, Africa and Europe. In 2012, his PhD on modernism in China received a Commendation in the RIBA President’s Award for Outstanding PhD Thesis and in 2016 he won the RIBA President’s Medal for Research for his work on the UNESCO World Heritage Nomination of Asmara, the modernist capital of Eritrea. His publications include Architecture and the Landscape of Modernity in China before 1949 (Routledge, 2017); Ultra-Modernism – Architecture and Modernity in Manchuria (HKUP, 2017); Luke Him Sau, Architect: China’s Missing Modern (Wiley, 2014); The Life of the British Home – An Architectural History(Wiley, 2012); McMorran & Whitby (RIBA, 2009); Modernism in China: Architectural Visions and Revolutions (Wiley, 2008); Building Shanghai: The Story of China’s Gateway (Wiley, 2006); and Asmara – Africa’s Secret Modernist City (Merrell, 2003).

Professor Murray Fraser

Murray Fraser is Professor of Architecture and Global Culture, as well as Vice-Dean of Research, at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London (UCL). He has published extensively on design research, architectural history & theory, urbanism, post-colonialism and cultural studies. As part of his Bartlett teaching work, he founded the MA Architecture and Historic Urban Environments course.

In 2008, his book on Architecture and the 'Special Relationship' (Routledge) won the RIBA President’s Research Award and also the CICA’s Bruno Zevi Book Prize. Edited books include Architecture and Globalisation in the Persian Gulf Region and Design Research in Architecture (both Ashgate, 2013). Previously he co-created the online Archigram Archival Project, shortlisted for the 2010 RIBA Research Awards, and was awarded a Commendation in the 2016 RIBA Research Awards for his design work with the Palestine Regeneration Team (PART).

He is currently General Editor for the fully rewritten 21st edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture (Bloomsbury, forthcoming in 2018), as well as Editor-in-Chief of the ARENA Journal of Architectural Research (AJAR).

Peter Guillery and the Survey of London Team

Peter Guillery is an architectural historian and editor for the Survey of London, the topographical series founded in 1894 that is now part of the Bartlett School of Architecture in University College London. His work for the Survey of London has covered areas ranging from Marylebone, to Clerkenwell, Whitechapel, Woolwich and the Isle of Dogs. Away from the Survey his publications include The Small House in Eighteenth-Century London (2004), Behind the Façade, London House Plans 1660-1840 (2006, with Neil Burton) and, as editor, Built from Below: British Architecture and the Vernacular (2011) and Mobilising Housing Histories: Learning from London’s Past (2017, with David Kroll). He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and serves on the editorial committees of the London Journal, the London Topographical Society and the Georgian Group.

A broad spectrum of other senior staff from The Bartlett School of Architecture will give lectures and seminars during the course, as well as distinguished visiting lecturers.

Modes and duration

This programme can be taken as a full-time degree for one year, or flexibly for two to five years. 


Typical entry requirements and application 

Normally a minimum of an upper second-class degree from a UK university in an appropriate subject or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. 

Check the complete entry requirements and key facts via the UCL prospectus page for this programme. 

We are seeking excellent students from architectural and other creative disciplines who want to engage innovatively in shaping historic urban environments for future generations. 

Contact 

Programme Director Edward Denison
Programme administrator Jakub Owczarek
Admissions enquiries Thea Heintz

 

architecture history urbanism