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Supervisor: Prof. James Campbell

Natcha Ruamsanitwong


Research overview:

Natcha’s research sets out to revise and add to the current literature on the work and life of Professor Sir (John) Leslie Martin. As an architect, Martin was famously known for, amongst many things, the design of the Royal Festival Hall, Harvey Court and the controversial Whitehall Plan. As an educator, Martin had done many things to legitimise Architecture, a subject hitherto stuck between a university subject and practical training. Throughout his long working years, Martin held many important posts. This included Principal Assistant Architect for the London, Midland and Scottish Railway (1939-48), Architect to the LCC (1953-56) and the first-ever Professor of Architecture at Cambridge University (1956-72). He also chaired the RIBA Oxford Conference on Architectural Education (1958), authored its report, and founded the centre for Land Use and Built Form Studies as the research arm of the Cambridge School of Architecture (1967). This was later renamed as the Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies in his honour. Drawing on original archive materials, contemporary published accounts, as well as personal recollections, this research seeks to construct a biography of Martin as a means to reassess his significance and legacy on the development of post-war architectural education in Britain. 



Natcha Ruamsanitwong studied Architecture at the University of Edinburgh before being drawn to Architectural History. As an undergraduate, she won the ECA Architectural History prize for best overall performance in the subject. Natcha completed her Masters from Cambridge, where her dissertation focused on 'the work of the centre for Land Use and Built Form Studies, 1960s'. Her doctoral research is supported by the Seear Fund