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Department of Architecture


The Department of Architecture is  delighted and excited to announce that the Board of Electors have unanimously elected and the Vice Chancellor has duly appointed Professor Flora Samuel as the sixth Professor of Architecture (1970) in the University of Cambridge.

This is the only established Professorial Chair in the Department. It was originally created for Sir Leslie Martin when he was made Head of Department and was then subsequently held by Professor Sir Colin St John Wilson RA, Professor Bill Howell, Professor Peter Carolin CBE and Professor Alan Short. The Chair became vacant when Professor Short retired to take up the Mastership of Clare Hall in 2021. The Board of Electors has now unanimously elected Professor Samuel to be the next Chair and we are delighted to celebrate her as the first woman to hold this very prestigious post.

An architect and an academic, Flora trained at Cambridge and was a teaching Fellow in Princeton before moving into housing practice in London. She returned to academia, undertaking a PhD on Le Corbusier on whom she is an internationally renowned expert. She began her academic career at Cardiff, ran the MArch at Bath and was Head of Department at Sheffield. She is currently Professor of Architecture at the University of Reading where she helped set up a new industry-led architecture school. Among her many roles she was the first Vice President of Research at the RIBA. Flora’s latest book Housing for Hope and Wellbeing is published in December.

Social justice and sustainability are at the core of Flora’s agenda. Her  current award-winning research is focused on improving ways in which social value and participation are built into our planning system ( The University is generously supporting her appointment with a substantial grant to set up an Urban Room in Cambridge, a place where the community, academia, industry and policy makers can debate and co-design the future of our rapidly changing city. This will bring a whole new dimension to the Department and we hope will become a hugely exciting nexus for rigorous and impactful research, with opportunities for staff and students at all levels to get involved.

She will take up the post in February.

I know you will join me in celebrating this appointment, congratulating Flora and in welcoming her to Cambridge in the spring.

We will announce the date of her inaugural lecture and accompanying celebrations in due course.

Professor James W P Campbell
Head of Department of Architecture