Flora Samuel Barbican
  • Key for the Chapel at St Michael's Theological College, Cardiff (1959) by George Pace
    Key for the Chapel at St Michael's Theological College, Cardiff (1959) by George Pace
  • Chapel at St Michael's Theological College, Cardiff
    Chapel at St Michael's Theological College, Cardiff
  • Andrew Matthews, Sarah Wigglesworth and Prof Fiona McLachlan at Research in Commercial Practice 2, 2013
    Edinburgh University at Research in Commercial Practice 2, 2013.
  • Home Improvements Project Meeting at the RIBA, September 2013
    Home Improvements Project Meeting at the RIBA, September 2013
  • Redliffe Revisited Exhibition Bristol Architecture Centre
    Redliffe Revisited Exhibition Bristol Architecture Centre
  • Teaching MArch at Bath
    Teaching MArch at Bath
  • Flora Samuel teaching University of Bath
    Anthropological documentary film making at University of Bath
  • 'Representing Redcliffe' consultation project with students University of Bath 2009
    Street Project
  • Cardiff House Extension project
    Cardiff House Extension project
  • Cardiff House Extension project
    Cardiff House Extension project
  • cover Le Corbusier and the Architectural Promenade
    cover Le Corbusier and the Architectural Promenade
  • Suburban Self Build, why people don't employ architects, Cardiff 2009
    At Home Theory Forum
  • Penthouse 24 Rue Nungesser et Coii
    Penthouse 24 Rue Nungesser et Coii
  • fig 3

MA DipArch (Cantab), PhD

Trained at Cambridge and Princeton I am an architect, a teacher of design, an internationally known expert on Le Corbusier, Professor of Architecture and Head of School since November 2010. I am concerned by the seeming inability of the Architecture profession in Britain to convey to the public the value of good design in promoting wellbeing. I believe that architects need to be very explicit and clear about the skills that they bring to any situation – extraordinary problem solving skills that, unlike other professions, take in the dimensions of space and time.

I am an Editorial Consultant for the online architectural community www.inbuilding.org, my aim being to support the development of evidence on the value of architecture. Do sign up and join the conversation.

Teaching Activities

I have a strong track record of research led teaching. I taught design studio and history at the Welsh School of Architecture Cardiff for 10 years before running the MArch at the University of Bath. Whilst at Bath I worked with students to develop anthropological film as a means of charting the relationship between people and site. The work, developed on a highly contested site in inner city Bristol culminated in an exhibition, Redcliffe Revisited at the Architecture Centre there. see website

At Sheffield I lead Humanities 1: Nature and Space in Western Architecture in Year 1. I am really interested in encouraging students to be critical of their education and aware of the hidden agendas in the things around them which is why I like to work with First years in Semester 1.

I have similar motivations in teaching Theory and Research in Year 5 as I want to help students develop a critical appreciation of issues of methodology. This was the focus Theory Forum ‘At Home’ which took place in November 2010.

I like developing research with MArch students and thinking of ways of facilitating other people’s research. I presented work with Louis Lane at the Agency AHRA conference in Sheffield in 2008 and work with Fearghal Murray at Field, the AHRA conference in Edinburgh in 2009. see youtube video

I also authored the on line training programme ‘Getting Published in the Arts’ for Epigeum, a spin out company from Imperial college. see website

One of the most enjoyable teaching roles in the school is supervising the undergraduate Special Study and the MArch Dissertation. I have a growing number of students who choose to explore issues of taste, make critiques of architectural education and operate on the interface between architecture and the social sciences.

I take the employment prospects of students very seriously. It was for this reason that I initiated the RIBA Student Destinations Survey, started in 2011 in which we will be charting the career paths of architectural graduates across seven diverse UK architecture schools over a ten year period. Only 30% of architecture students end up working in architecture. We need to tailor architectural education to take account of this often ignored fact.


Administrative Roles

Head of School (2009-2013)

Member of Faculty Executive Board, Faculty of Social Sciences

Research Interests

Much of my attention has been focused on revising the history of Le Corbusier, my aim being to reveal neglected aspects of his work that have contemporary relevance. My PhD was on Le Corbusier’s unbuilt scheme for a Basilica at La Sainte Baume in the South of France, my work adding impetus to the development of a Trouin/ Le Corbusier centre there. My first book written with Sarah Menin, Nature and Space: Aalto and Le Corbusier (2000), used psychoanalytical methodologies to explore the two architects’ obsession with nature. Le Corbusier Architect and Feminist (2004) explored his interest in gender equality. Le Corbusier in Detail (2007) reasserted the poetic possibilities of construction. Le Corbusier and the Architectural Promenade (2010), utilizing film theory and the laws of rhetoric focused on the experience of moving through buildings. I am currently writing Ineffable Space: Le Corbusier and the Church with Inge Linder-Gaillard (Birkhauser, 2012). (see article in BD by Cany Ash on Unite d'habitation in Marseille, France by Le Corbusier)

Why people in the UK seem to value architecture so little is at the heart of my agenda. This is why I have an ongoing project on house extensions and why people so rarely employ architects to do them. I am also very interested in how research can contribute to the quality of Volume House Building and am working with Taylor Wimpey on a Knowledge Exchange Project in this area. I am busy collecting material for my next book on the value of architecture. See At Home research group

I am a member of the RIBA Research and Innovation Group. My areas of responsibility are Housing, Performance and Value. I am also the member of SCHOSA council responsible for research. I see these roles are joined, my aim being to keep schools across the UK informed of the activities of the RIG to our mutual benefit. As well as the topics outlined above I have a particular interest in promoting practice based research. It seems to me vital that academia and practice work together to evidence the importance of architecture.

Grants, Awards & Consultancy

2013 – The Cultural Value of Architecture in Homes and Neighbourhoods (PI), AHRC £50K.
2013 – SURE, Sheffield University Internship to pay for SCHOSA Review of Research in UK Architecture Schools
2012 – ‘Home Improvements’, £250000 AHRC Knowledge Exchange in the Creative Economy Project (PI)
2010 – Faculty of Social Sciences HEIF 4 funding for cpd, £30,000.
2010 – Faculty of Social Sciences Research funding for ‘At Home’ conference - £1500
2010 – British Academy, £5,000 for copyright fees
2007 – British Academy, £4,958 for copyright fees
2005 – Leverhulme Trust, £21,094, research fellowship
2005 – Cardiff University, £4,500 for research into the use of Learning Journals
2003 - AHRB Grant, £5,000 for research costs for Le Corbusier in Detail
2003 – British Academy Grant £4,795 for copyright fees
2003 - British Academy Grant, £1,000 for travel
2002 – British Academy Grant with Sarah Menin, £3,500 for copyright fees
1999 – British Academy Research Grant, £2,215 for copyright fees
1999 – Dorothy Stroud Bursary, Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, £500 for copyright fees
1997 – RIBA Research Trust Award, £3,000 for travel

Research Students and Assistants

Dr Laura Coucill - 2012-13 - Post Doctoral Researcher on 'Home Improvements' project

Michael Coates – 2011 - A History of Activist Architecture 1970 to present

Shima Rezaei Rashnoodi – 2011 - Iranian Diaspora and the making of Home

Maria Van Elk – 2011 – Architectural Practice and Localism: Action Research into the making of Local Development Plan in Manchester

Sara Howard, ‘Elizabeth Whitworth Scott Architect’, MPhil University of Bath 2008.

With Peter Blundell Jones I am supervising Diego Gonzalez Carrasco whose research is on the subject of the Aymara home.

Professional Standing & Distinctions

Sacred Concrete: The Churches of Le Corbusier shortlisted for RIBA President's Medal for University Located Research 2013

Panel member on the Hong Kong Research Assessment Exercise 2014

RIBA Research and Innovation Group Member with responsibility for Housing, Performance and Value 2011

SCHOSA Council representative for Research since 2009.

Invited to speak at Barbican, London on Le Corbusier and Women in 2009

Academic Lead for RIBA Student Destinations Survey 2011

RIBA Research Trust Award Judge since 2011.

Design Adviser Sheffield Children’s Hospital Extension Project 2011

Assessor for British Federation of Women Graduates Scholarship Programme 2011

Sheffield Design Award Judge 2010.

Judge for the RIBA President’s Medals Dissertation Prize in 2003

My book Le Corbusier in Detail was nominated for the RIBA International Book of the Year award 2008.

I was appointed a member of the AHRC Peer Review Panel in 2009.

I am a regular reviewer for the Times Higher Education Supplement.

I have acted as external examiner and on validation and promotion panels at the AA, AHO Oslo, University of Brighton, University of Cyprus, KTH Stockholm, Open University, University of Nottingham, Newcastle University, Queens University Belfast, South Bank University, University of Westminster. I have also acted as research advisor to several schools.



Flora Samuel and Inge Linder Gaillard, Sacred Concrete: The Churches of Le Corbusier (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2012).

Flora Samuel, Elements of the Architectural Promenade (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2010).

Flora Samuel, Le Corbusier in Detail (London: Architectural Press, 2007). Longlisted for the RIBA International Book Awards 2008. Translated in Japanese and Chinese.

Jo Odgers, Flora Samuel and Adam Sharr (eds.), Primitive (London: Routledge, 2006).

Flora Samuel, Le Corbusier: Architect and Feminist (London: Wiley, 2004).

Sarah Menin and Flora Samuel, Nature and Space: Aalto and Le Corbusier (London: Routledge, 2002).

Chapters in books

Flora Samuel, ‘La cittadella orfica della Sainte-Baume’, in Domenico Luciani (ed.) Il luogo e il sacro. Contributi all’indagine sul linguaggio simbolico dei luoghi (Treviso: Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, 2012), pp178-189.

Flora Samuel, ‘Plan Voisin’ in David Leatherbarrow (ed.), Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the History of Architecture (Wiley 2013).

Flora Samuel ‘Unité Marseilles’, in David Chipperfield and Kieron Long (eds.), Common Ground a Critical Reader (Venice: Massilio, 2012).

Flora Samuel, ‘Extension Stories’ in Adam Sharr (ed.), Architecture and Culture (London: Routledge, 2012), pp.96-105.

Flora Samuel, ‘Taste’, in Allison Dutoit, Juliet Odgers and Adam Sharr (eds.) Quality Out of Control (London: Routledge, 2010).

Flora Samuel and Juliet Odgers, ‘Designing in Quality’ in Allison Dutoit, Juliet Odgers and Adam Sharr (eds.), Quality Out of Control (London: Routledge 2010).

Flora Samuel, ‘La cité orphique de La Sainte Baume’ in Le Corbusier Le Symbolique, le sacré, la spiritualité (Paris: Fondation Le Corbusier, Éditions de la Villette, 2004), pp.121-138.

Flora Samuel, ‘Awakening Place’ in Sarah Menin (ed.) Constructing Place ( London: Routledge, 2003).

Flora Samuel and Sarah Menin ‘Self Building with Jung, Aalto and Le Corbusier’ in Jo Odgers, Flora Samuel and Adam Sharr (eds.), Primitive (London: Routledge, 2006).

Refereed Journals

Flora Samuel and Peter Blundell Jones, Le Corbusier, Scharoun and the Architectural Promenade, arq, July 2012.

Flora Samuel, ‘Suburban Self Build’, Field, 2, 2008, pp.111-125. http://www.field-journal.org/index.html

Flora Samuel, ‘Animus, anima and the architecture of Le Corbusier, Harvest Journal for Jungian Studies, 48, 2, 2002, pp.42-60.

‘Le Corbusier Rabelais and Oracle of the Holy Bottle’ Word and Image: a Journal of verbal/visual enquiry, 17, 4, 2001, pp.325-338.

‘Le Corbusier, Teilhard de Chardin and La Planétisation humaine: spiritual ideas at the heart of modernism,’ French Cultural Studies, 11,2, 2000, pp.181-200.

‘A Profane Annunciation; The Representation of Sexuality in the Architecture of Ronchamp’ Journal of Architectural Education, 53, 2, 1999, pp.74-90.

‘Le Corbusier, Teilhard de Chardin and the Planetisation of Mankind’ Journal of Architecture, 4, 1999, pp.149-165.

‘The Representation of Mary in Le Corbusier’s Chapel at Ronchamp’ Church History (American Society of Church History), 68, 2, 1999, pp.398-417.

‘The Philosophical city of Rabelais and St Teresa; Le Corbusier and Edouard Trouin’s scheme for St Baume, Literature and Theology (University of Cambridge), 13, 2, 1999, pp.111-126.

‘Le Corbusier, Women, Nature and Culture’ Issues in Art and Architecture (University of East London) 5, 2, 1998, pp.1-17.


RIBA Report on Housing Research in Practice (publication October 2013)

RIBA Practice Research Guide (publication October 2013)

Invited Reviews and Articles

‘Good Cities, Better Lives, Times Higher Education Supplement, November 2013.

‘The New York Nobody Knows’, Times Higher Education Supplement, October 2013.

‘Diller Scofidio and Renfro’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 28 February 2013, p.48

‘After Art, Times Higher Education Supplement, 15 November 2012., pp.50-51.

‘Fit’, Time Higher Education Supplement, 8 November 2012, p.51.

‘Women in Practice’, Architect’s Journal, 12 January 2012.

‘Modern Catholic Space’, Art and Christian Enquiry, February 2012.

‘Women in Architecture’, Architect’s Journal, 10 January 2012, pp.26-27.

‘Alvar Aalto, Architecture, Modernity and Geopolitics’, Nordic Journal of Architecture, 1, 2, 2012, pp.118-119.

‘Starchitecture at Ground Zero‘’Times Higher Education Supplement, 22 September 2011, p.54-55.

‘Just City’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 18 November 2010, p.51.

‘Breuer in Bristol’, Architect’s Journal, 25 November 2010, pp.51-52.

‘City Life’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 18 November 2010, pp.60-61.

‘Naked City’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 14 April 2010

Stanbrook Abbey, Architecture Today, 203, Nov 2009. pp.26-28.

‘Le Corbusier and the Art of Architecture’, arq, 13, 1, 2009, pp.16-20.

‘The Rhetoric of Modernism’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 27 August 2009, pp.44-45.

Cardiff Student Exhibition, Architects Journal, August 2009.

‘Architecture Depends’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 23 April 2009, pp.48-49.

‘The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses, Times Higher Education Supplement, 23 April 2009 pp.38-39.

‘Le Corbusier and the Occult’, Times Higher Education Supplement, 5 March 2009.

‘Corb in the Crypt’, Architect’s Journal, 9 October, 2008, pp. 91-93.

‘Flora Samuel Reviews Three New books on Le Corbusier’, Architect’s Journal, 9 October 2008, pp. 94-95.

‘De Stijl and Dutch Modernism’, Journal of Design history, 18, 2, 2005, pp.224-5.

‘Le Corbusier before Le Corbusier’, Journal of Design History, 16,2, 2003, pp.192-194.

‘Take and closer look at that black leather’, Times Higher Education Supplement, July 26 2002, No. 1, 517, p.27.

‘L’Esprit Nouveau: Purism in Paris’, Journal of Design History, 15,1, 2002, pp.62-64.

‘Old guard’s happiness in an age of confusion’, Times Higher Education Supplement, December 14 2001, No. 1, 517, p.36. Book Review.

‘Plymouth School of Architecture: prospectus 99’, Building Design, 1406, August 13 1999, p.23.

‘Miniature Memories’, Things, 10, Winter 1998, p.98-99.

‘Thought Word and Deed: Shaker the Art of Craftsmanship,’ Things, 9, Summer 1998, p.102-105.

Selected Refereed Conference Papers

‘Home Improvements’, Transgression, AHRA Conference, University of West of England November 2103.

With Laura Coucill, ‘Home Improvements’, The Knowledge Exchange, Lancaster University, September 2013.

With Laura Coucill, ‘Home Improvements’, Housing Studies Associations Conference, York, 2013.

‘Representing Redcliffe’, Agency, Sheffield University, November 2008.

‘Architecture without Architects: Suburban non-practices’, Alternate Currents, Sheffield University, November 2007.

‘The Poeme Electronique’, Art and Architecture Conference, Alvar Aalto Centre, Jyvaskala, Finland, 2005.

‘Lower Case History and the Development of Reflective Practice in Studio’, Architectural Education Exchange Conference, Cardiff, 2001.

‘Intimate Connections’, Association of Art Historians Conference, Oxford, 2001.

‘Learning Journals’, Architectural Education Exchange Conference, Sheffield, 2000.

‘Idealism, Reality and Design: Gender in the Architecture of Le Corbusier’s own home at 24 rue Nungesser et Coli’, Design History Society Conference, Brighton, 1997.

Flora Samuel, ‘Getting Published in the Arts’, Epigeum, Imperial College, 2007.

Curatorship of Exhibitions

Redcliffe Revisited, Bristol Architecture Centre, June 2009.

Academic Referee

Arq, Journal of Architecture, Architectural Theory Review, Field, Housing Theory and Society, Routledge, Ashgate,

I was Associate Editor for arq 2002-2006