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Department of Architecture



John Simpson is principal of John Simpson Architects. He is a leading proponent of New Classicism and believes Architecture, as a public art, by necessity must draw on our collective experience and traditions as a society.  In order to create towns and cities that are inclusive Architecture needs to use a familiar language of building that everyone can relate to and understand. 

His work first came to prominence in the 1990s with his masterplan for Paternoster Square by St Paul’s Cathedral in the City of London. He pioneered mixed use urban planning designed around streets and squares, long before it became adopted as government policy. Through his work, which includes a significant number of public and institutional buildings he has had considerable influence in bringing the Classical tradition into the public eye. Such works include the Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace, his buildings at Poundbury for the Duchy of Cornwall, his work at Kensington Palace for the Queen’s diamond Jubilee and the DMRC rehabilitation facility for injured service personnel at Stanford Hall near Loughborough.  His work within educational establishments includes that at Gonville and Caius College and at Peterhouse in Cambridge, at Lady Margaret Hall in Oxford, his debating chamber and quadrangle at McCrum Yard, at Eton, his music recital rooms at the Royal College of Music in London and the School of Architecture buildings at the University of Notre Dame in the USA.

John Simpson taught at the Prince of Wales’s Foundation in the 1990s using his practice as a training ground for young students. Since 2016 he lectured at the School of Architecture at the University of Notre Dame and was appointed professor of Architecture at the University of Buckingham in 2018. He is a visiting Fellow at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.

Visiting Professor for the Ax:son Johnson Centre for the Study of Classical Architecture 2021-24