Peter Blundell Jones

We regret to announce that Professor Peter Blundell died on Friday 19th August 2016. He will be sorely missed by all.

We intend to hold a memorial event this Autumn. If you have any queries please contact Sam Drobinski

Professor Peter Blundell Jones

AA Diploma, MA Cantab, PhD

When I studied architecture in the late 1960s, orthodox modernism had reached a crisis because buildings had become construction-driven, ignoring issues of context and meaning. I discovered that there was an alternative modernist line, deeper and more subtle, headed by architects like Asplund, Häring, and Scharoun. I wrote monographs on these architects, as well as an alternative history: 'Modern Architecture through Case Studies'. Meanwhile I became increasingly concerned by the way people have been excluded by bureaucracies and specialists from decisions about the buildings they inhabit. This provoked my interest in participation and in the vernacular, which shows how people built for themselves before architects took over.

Teaching Activities

I offer numerous lectures on architectural history and theory, many based on my written publications, which usually attempt to draw general conclusions from highly specific case studies, often starting with a single building, place, or text. I encourage students also to take a case-study approach in the essays connected with my courses, and in the many dissertations that I supervise both at undergraduate and at M.Arch levels. Another part of my work is the detailed study of the history of Sheffield, which continues year to year as an option project. I have also taught studio from time to time, but the most substantial part of my work these days is with PhD students, many of whom are engaged in East-West studies, and I encourage interconnections between their subject areas to produce a common body of work from which we can all profit. For me, the pursuit of an ever-deepening shared study of architecture in relation to its social meaning and value is paramount, and I seek common factors in this across time and space, embracing both the work of named architects and that of communities.

Administrative Roles

School Archivist and Historian.

Research Interests

Studies of 19th and 20th century architects, the birth of modernism internationally, participation, urban history, architecture and ritual, architecture and landscape, architecture of China, Japan and Korea, history of architectural education. Published books include the revised Hans Scharoun (Phaidon, London, 1995); Dialogues in Time, the story of the Austrian Grazer Schule (Haus der Architektur, Graz, 1998); Hugo Häring: the Organic versus the Geometric (Edition Menges 1999); Günter Behnisch (Birkhäuser 2000); Modern Architecture through Case Studies (Architectural Press 2002 and second volume 2007); Gunnar Asplund (Phaidon 2006); Peter Hübner: Building as a Social process (Menges 2007), and University of Sheffield School of Architecture, 2008, a centenary history.

Research Students

Ren Xiang
Nozawa Shuntaro
Michael Coates
Nurul A Mohamad
Diego Gonzalez
Derong Kong
Jianyu Chen
Hui-Ju Chang
Nicholas Holmes
Lars Hopstock

Recently Completed:

Bing Jiang
Chomchon Fusinpaiboon
Steve Parnell
Jayson Hsin-Yin Huang
Zuraini Md Ali

Postgraduate Research Supervision Interests

Architectural history and theory of the 19th and 20th centuries, architectural anthropology, urban history, writing and criticism.

Grants, Awards and Consultancy

Two year AHRC grant in 2006 to research East Asian Influence on modern architecture in Europe, 1918-1939, RA Hyon-Sob Kim.

CICA Award for the ‘Best periodical of the last three years’ for a special issue of The Architectural Review of June 1985. Architectural Journalist of the Year 1992 for articles on Louis Kahn and Authenticity published in The Architects Journal.

Conversion of Padley Mill 1996 received awards from both Greenwatch and the CPRE.

Professional Standing and Distinctions

Professor of Architecture in Sheffield since 1994, I have been allotted entries in both Wikipedia and Archinform. My few buildings were published, and one is in Pevsner. I have written 13 books, not counting foreign editions, and over 500 articles in 47 journals spread over 13 countries. My most regular places of publication have been The Architectural Review and Architects' Journal. I have given numerous international lectures and conference papers including two lecture series in China, and I have served as External Examiner both for design courses and PhDs. I am an editorial board member for Architectural Research Quarterly and True Principles, and I have refereed for several publishers. I was Chair of Judges for the RIBA President's Medal for student dissertations for the years 2006-2011.

Recent Visits

China 19 May - 3 June 2014

One lecture at South China University of Technology, Guangzhou and three lectures at Huazhong University of Science and Technology Wuhan. Study visits organised by Professor Tan Gangyi and East-West studies student Derong Kong to Dong and Miao villages, Ming Tomb and Ancestral Halls in remote villages of Hubei Province. General organiser Tan Gangyi had been a visiting fellow at Sheffield the previous year.

Padely Mill cropped Asplund Scharoun


A list of key publications can be found below. For a full list of recent publications please click here.


  • Blundell Jones P (2013) The Architecture and Operation of the Imperial Chinese Yamen In Temple N, Simon J & Tobe R (Ed.), Architecture and Justice (pp. 131-150). Farnham: Ashgate. RIS download Bibtex download