Kent School of Architecture


profile image for Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin

Dr Timothy Brittain-Catlin

PhD, MA, Dip. Architecture, RIBA

Architecture, Eliot W3W8

Reader in Architecture and Director of Graduate Studies

Chief Examiner

Timothy Brittain-Catlin is an architect who has been writing about architectural history for many years, both for a general readership and for those with a particular interest in the revolutionary changes in architectural thinking in early nineteenth-century England.

He qualified as an architect in 1988 and has worked on a wide variety of design projects from conservation and restoration to masterplanning both in Britain and abroad. He joined the Kent School of Architecture from the Architectural Association in September 2007.

He specialises in early nineteenth-century and early twentieth English architecture and in particular in the work of A.W.N. Pugin, completing a doctorate on ‘The English residential architecture of A.W.N. Pugin in its context’ in 2004 under the supervision of Andrew Saint at the University of Cambridge. He is a regular contributor to the World of Interiors and the Architectural Review, and his publications include How to Read a Building (2007) and Churches (2008). His book The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century (click here to view) was published by Spire Books in association with English Heritage in July 2008. His latest book is Bleak Houses: Disappointment and Failure in Architecture, published in 2014 by The MIT Press, the Book launch video and podcast are available here.

He is deputy chairman of the 20th Century Society, and a member of the Southern Buildings Committee of the Victorian Society and the South East Regional Design Panel.

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Recent publications include:

  • Bleak Houses: Disappointment and Failure in Architecture. The MIT Press, 2014 Cambridge, Mass and London, UK, 192 pp. (Book launch video and podcast)
  • Scale: Imagination, Perception and Practice in Architecture (co-editor, with Gerald Adler and Gordana Fontana-Giusti) (Abingdon: Routledge, 2012)
  • Downward Trajectory: Towards a Theory of Failure’, in arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 15 (02), pp. 139-147s
  • Leonard Manasseh and Partners (London: RIBA Publishing / Twentieth Century Society / English Heritage, 2010)
  • ‘Horace Field and Lloyds Bank’, in Architectural History, vol. 53, 2010, pp. 271-94
  • The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century. View here (Reading: Spire Books, 2008)


About AWN Pugin

  • The Bishop’s House, Birmingham’, in Studies in Victorian Architecture & Design, vol. 1 2008, pp. 96-105
  • A.W.N. Pugin’s English Convent Plans, in Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians [of the US], September 2006
  • A.W.N. Pugin’s Scheme for Hornby Castle, Yorkshire’, in The Burlington Magazine, vol. 146 no. 1217 (August 2004), pp. 550-3
  • Pugin’s Perfect Priestly Palaces’, on Alton Castle, the Bishop’s House Birmingham, Rampisham rectory and Warwick Bridge presbytery, Country Life, vol. 198 no. 8 (19 February 2004), pp. 68-71
  • Introductions to facsimiles ofPugin's Contrasts and True Principles, (Reading: Spire Books, 2003)
  • Some Little-Known Pugin Houses’, in True Principles (the journal of the Pugin Society), vol. 2 no. 5, Summer 2003, pp. 36-7
  • La Normandie de Nodier; L’Angleterre de Pugin’ in L’architecture normande en Europe, Identités et Échanges (Martin Kew Meade, Werner Szambien and Simona Talenti, eds), (Marseilles: Éditions Parenthèses, 2002), pp. 149-54
  • ‘It All Melts Away: A.W.N. Pugin in Oxford’, in True Principles (the journal of the Pugin Society), vol. 2 no. 4, Summer 2002, pp. 32-4
  • On Christine & Jacqueline Riding’s The Houses of Parliament, in AA Files, no. 47 (Summer 2002), pp. 82-6
  • A.W.N. Pugin and Nodier’s Normandy’, in True Principles (the journal of the Pugin Society), vol. 2 no 3, Winter 2001, pp. 3-6


Other writing:

Books for general readers:

  • Churches: Explore the Symbols, Learn the Language and Discover the History (London: Harper Collins, 2008)
  • Collins Gem: Architecture (London: Harper Collins, 2008)
  • How to Read a Building (London: Harper Collins, 2007)


Chapters in books:

  • Is it Old or Is it New?’, in A Printed Thing: Writing Architecture Project, edited by Konrad Buhagiar and Jon Banthorpe (Valletta: AP, 2013).
  • Thanet's Architecture in the Heyday of Sea-bathing’, in Saving Thanet: the Architecture of Kent's Forgotten Coast by Amicia de Moubray (London: SAVE Britain's Heritage, 2012)
  • ‘A.W.N. Pugin: Realist and Revolutionary’, in The Great Builders, edited by Kenneth Powell, (London: Thames & Hudson, 2011)
  • Various contributions to 1001 Buildings to See Before You Die, edited by Mark Irving (London: Quarto, 2007)
  • ‘A Papered History’, in The Cutting Edge of Wallpaper (London: Black Dog Publishing, 2006)
  • After the Bunker’, in Lifesaver, the catalogue of the Israeli national pavilion at the 10th Venice Biennale, 2006
  • ‘Geometrical Wounds: Zvi Hecker in Israel 1990 & 2000’, in Constructing a Sense of Place: Architecture and the Zionist Discourse, edited by Haim Yacobi (Basingstoke: Ashgate, 2004)


 Other critical writing on architectural history:

  • On the Stuttgart architect Peter Hübner, AA Files, no. 56, Summer 2007
  • On Peter Blundell Jones’ Gunnar Asplund, AA Files, no. 53, May 2006
  • ‘Material Encounters’, on traditional and modern Portuguese architecture, Architectural Review, July 2004


Critiques of contemporary architecture:

  • Akerman Health Centre, Brixton, London by Henley Halebrown Rorrison, in Architecture Today, 2013 (234)
  • On Margate Sands’, on the Turner Contemporary Gallery, in AA files (63), 2011
  • ‘Head above Water’, on the conversion and interior design of an early nineteenth-century boathouse in Windsor Great Park, designed by the architect Alex Cochrane, The World of Interiors, June 2012
  • ‘Performance Piece’, on the Marlowe Theatre, Canterbury, by Keith Williams, Architecture Today (222), 2011
  • ‘A Class Above’, on the bridge school at Xiashi, Fujian Province, China, designed by Li Xiaodong Atelier, The World of Interiors, April 2011
  • The Slice House’, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, by Procter Rihl Architects, The World of Interiors, May 2006
  • ‘The Icemen Cometh’, on the Snow Show (at Rovaniemi and Kemi, Finland), The World of Interiors, December 2004
  • ‘On Top of the World’, a critique of the top-floor bar of the Swiss Re Building, 30 St Mary Axe, London, The World of Interiors, October 2004
  • ‘Landscape of Learning’, a critique of the Rector’s Office at the New University of Lisbon by Aires Mateus, Architectural Review, July 2004
  • ‘Green Gauge’, a critique of the Wigglesworth / Till House near King’s Cross, The World of Interiors, January 2002
  • ‘Geological Formation’, a critique of the Palmach Veterans’ Memorial Centre by Zvi Hecker and Rafi Segal in Tel Aviv, Architectural Review, May 2000


On historical architecture:

  • ‘Learning the Wright way’, on the Myonichikan, the 'House of Tomorrow', at Jiyu Gakuen primary school, Ikebukuro, Tokyo, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, The World of Interiors, November 2013
  • ‘Aston Villain’, on Aston Villa, The World of Interiors, May 2013
  • ‘Living Quarter’, The World of Interiors, February 2013, and ‘Wie die Stadt ins Zimmer kam’, Architectural Digest (Germany), May 2013, on a flat in Barcelona remodelled by David Kohn
  • ‘London's Calling’, on the squares of London, with reference to and illustrated from The London Square by Todd Longstaffe-Gowan, The World of Interiors, July 2012
  • ‘Robert Adam’: programme note for People by Alan Bennett, at the National Theatre, London, 2012.
  • 'Come in Under the Shadow...' on the promenade shelter on Margate seafront where T.S. Eliot found inspiration for 'The Wasteland', The World of Interiors, November 2010
  • ‘Bring Back “Gothick”', True Principles, The Journal of The Pugin Society, 4 (2), 2010
  • Building of the month: Israel Goldstein Synagogue, Givat Ram, The Twentieth Century Society Website, 2010
  • ‘Ian Baker’ [obituary], The Guardian, 20.5. 2010, p. 38,
  • Building of the Month: Furzedown Teachers' Training College, The Twentieth Century Society Website, 2010
  • ‘Mister Big’, on the Big Ben bell and clock tower, The World of Interiors, October 2009
  • Building of the Month: The Garage, Hilden, Rye Hill – a Rolls Royce of garages?, The Twentieth Century Society website,
  • ‘Tequila Sunset’, on the Hacienda Jaral de Berrio, Mexico, The World of Interiors, August 2009
  • ‘Speaking Volumes’, on the premises of the publisher John Murray in Albemarle Street, London, The World of Interiors, November 2008
  • ‘Tresham’s Triangular Lodge’, on the triangular lodge at Rushton, Northamptonshire, The World of Interiors, August 2008
  • ‘Masters of Arts’, on the old hall of Queens’ College, Cambridge, The World of Interiors, June 2008
  • ‘Argument from Design’, on the architecture of Liam McCormick, The Tablet, 24 May 2008
  • ‘Wings and a Prayer’, on Acton Court, Gloucestershire, The World of Interiors, July 2007
  • ‘Prouvé à Porter’, on Jean Prouvé’s Tropical House, The World of Interiors, June 2007
  • ‘Stock in Trade’, on the buildings of the former Fray Bentos works in Uruguay, The World of Interiors, November 2006
  • ‘Old Came Rectory’, in Country Life, 1 June 2006
  • Grand Master Flash’, on the Co-Cathedral of St John, Valletta, The World of Interiors, June 2006
  • ‘The Show Must Go On’, on the restoration of the Royal Albert Hall, London, The World of Interiors, July 2005
  • ‘Portrait of a Marriage’, on the houses by Juan O’Gorman for Diego Rivera and Frieda Kahlo in Mexico City, The World of Interiors, June 2005
  • ‘Fitted for the Purpose’, on the Frankfurt kitchen, The World of Interiors, May 2005
  • ‘Grotto Fabulous’, on the Shell Grotto at Margate, The World of Interiors, June 2004
  • ‘Order of the Bath’, on the eighteenth-century bathhouse at Carshalton, The World of Interiors, May 2004
  • ‘Station Masters’, on Maputo railway station, Mozambique, The World of Interiors, April 2004
  • ‘Glorious Mud’, on James Morris’ architectural photography in West Africa, The World of Interiors, December 2003
  • ‘Unseen Soane’, on Sir John Soane’s drawing office, The World of Interiors, September 2003
  • ‘Corbusier Stripped Bare’, on Le Corbusier’s cabin at Rocquebrune-Cap-Martin, The World of Interiors, April 2003
  • ‘Restoration Drama’, on Restoration House in Rochester, The World of Interiors, March 2003


On design and interior design:

  • ‘Crowded house’, on the work of the artist Friedrich Nagler at Horndean, Hampshire, The World of Interiors, April 2013
  • Journal of an Architect: So Long as it's White’, The World of Interiors, April 2012
  • ‘Classical Revival’, on the work design of the French designer André Arbus and the recent reproduction of carpets based on his designs, The World of Interiors, April 2012
  • ‘Primo Ponti’, on a revival of designs for furniture by Gio Ponti, The World of Interiors, October 2012
  • ‘True to Form’, A description of the architecture, plaster cast collection and plaster cast manufactory at Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire The World of Interiors, October 2010
  • ‘The Art of Intimacy’, on the Thaw Collection of nineteenth-century domestic interior watercolours, The World of Interiors, October 2008
  • ‘Urbane Renewal’, on the designer Paul László, The World of Interiors, June 2008
  • ‘Wizard of Odd’, on the surrealist Pedro Friedeberg, The World of Interiors, March 2008
  • ‘Grand Schemer’, on the interior designer Basil Ionides, The World of Interiors, December 2007
  • ‘The Briny’s Bounty’, on designs with shells, The World of Interiors, November 2007
  • ‘Merchant Palaces’, Sudley House, Liverpool (exhibition review), The World of Interiors, September 2007
  • ‘Empire de Luxe’, on the shopping habits of Indian royalty, The World of Interiors, April 2007
  • ‘Little Britain’, on the Bekonscot model village, The World of Interiors, March 2007
  • ‘Trade Options’, on nineteenth-century Rhineland ironmongery catalogue plates, The World of Interiors, February 2007
  • ‘What did Modernism do for us?’, Modern Painters, April 2007
  • ‘Dynamic Ceramics’, on Aldo Londi and the Bitossi company, The World of Interiors, August 2005
  • ‘History Repeats’, on the printmaker Marthe Armitage, The World of Interiors, January 2005
  • ‘Candid Camera’, on Nilu Izadi’s camera obscura at Llanrhaeadr, The World of Interiors, July 2004
  • ‘Form Follows Fantasy’, on Dagobert Peche and the Wiener Werkstätte, The World of Interiors, January 2003
  • ‘Classical Illusions’, on John and Gabrielle Sutcliffe’s house, The World of Interiors, September 2002


On public planning policy:

  • ‘Planning: is a planning exemption for large country houses producing the innovation that was intended?’ Architecture Today, March 2009
  • ‘View from Copenhagen’ [with Henriette Steiner], Architectural Review, March 2004
  • ‘View from Lisbon’, Architectural Review, July 2003
  • ‘Urban promenade", HaAretz (the Israeli national daily broadsheet newspaper), 8 May 2000


Some recent book reviews on architecture and related subjects:

  • Architecture on the Carpet: the Curious Tale of Construction Toys and the Genesis of Modern Buildings, by Brenda and Robert Vale (review), The World of Interiors, November 2013
  • ‘Ancient Inspiration’, a review of Four Emperors and an Architect, by Alicia Salter, The Tablet, 21 September 2013
  • The Solar House: Pioneering Sustainable Design, by Anthony Denzer (review), The World of Interiors, October 2013
  • The Mussolini Canal, by Pennacchio, Antonio, (brief review), The Tablet, 27 July 2013
  • Point Made’, a review of Imperial gothic: Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire, 1840-1870, by G.A. Bremner, The Tablet, 13 July 2013.
  • Ulrik Plesner: Playboy Architect of the Eastern World’, a review of In Situ: an architectural memoir from Sri Lanka, by Ulrik Plesner, Architectural Review, June 2013.
  • ‘William Burges and the High Victorian Dream’, by J. Mordaunt Crook (review), The World of Interiors, April 2013
  • Wells Coates, by Elizabeth Darling (review), Cercles - Revue Pluridisciplinaire du Monde Anglophone,
  • James Wyatt (1746-1813): Architect to George III, by John Martin Robinson (review), The World of Interiors, January 2013
  • Northern Lights’, a review of The Architecture of Sharpe, Paley and Austin, by Geoff Brandwood, The Tablet, 13 October 2012
  • Thomas Heatherwick: Making, by Thomas Heatherwick (review), The World of Interiors, October 2012
  • Trends in the North’, a review of Renaissance Gothic by Ethan Matt Kavaler, The Tablet 14 July 2012
  • Basil Spence: buildings and projects, by Louise Campbell, Miles Glendinning and Jane Thomas (review), The World of Interiors, July 2012
  • Pointed Genius’, a review of: "Gothic for Ever": A.W.N. Pugin, Lord Shrewsbury, and the rebuilding of Catholic England, by Michael Fisher (review), The Tablet, 5 May 2012
  • The Arts and Crafts Country House: from the Archives of Country Life, by Clive Aslet (review), The World of Interiors, May 2012
  • Square Dealings’, a review of Freemasonry and the Enlightenment: architecture, symbols and influences, by James Stevens Curl (review), The Tablet, 21 April 2012
  • British Design 1948-2012 – Victoria and Albert Museum (review), The World of Interiors, April 2012
  • The Invention of the Past: Interior Design and Architecture of Studio Peregalli, by Laura Sartori Rimini and Roberto Peregalli (review), The World of Interiors, February 2012
  • Treasures to intrigue and delight’, a review of The Secret Language of Churches: Decoding the Sacred Symbolism of Christianity's Holy Buildings, by Richard Stemp, The Tablet, 7 January 2012
  • The Photography of Bedford Lemere & Co, by Nicholas Cooper (review), The World of Interiors, November 2011
  • Eastern Vision’, a review of The Biography of a Building: how Robert Sainsbury and Norman Foster Built a Great Museum, by Witold Rybczynski, The Tablet, 15 October 2011
  • The Architecture of Sir Ernest George, by Hilary J.Grainger (review), The Journal of Architecture, 16 (5), 2011
  • New Natural Home, by Dominic Bradbury and Richard Powers (review), The World of Interiors, July 2011
  • ‘In Retrospect, the era of the Tudoresque was Viewed as the Golden Age of Cottagers’, a review of Tudoresque: in Pursuit of the Ideal Home, by Andrew Ballantyne, and Andrew Law, The Architectural Review, July 2011
  • ‘Indian Milton Keynes’, a review of: Chandigarh 1956: Le Corbusier and the Promotion of Architectural Modernity, by Ernst Scheidegger, The Tablet, 18 June 2011
  • The English Castle, by John Goodall (review), The World of Interiors, June 2011
  • Masterworks: Architecture at the Royal Academy of Arts, by Neil Bingham (review), The World of Interiors, May 2011
  • Not Especially Holy’, a review of The Eighteenth-Century Church in Britain, by Friedman, Terry, The Tablet, 16 April 2011
  • History of Us Ordinary Folk’, a review of The Birth of Modern Britain,by Francis Pryor, The Tablet, 26 March 2011
  • Making Marks: the Design of Timney-Fowley, by Sue Timney (review), The World of Interiors, March 2011
  • Vibrant’, a review of Birmingham's Victorian and Edwardian architects, by Phillida Ballard, True Principles, The Journal of The Pugin Society, 4 (2), 2011
  • Charles Rennie Mackintosh, by James Macaulay (review), The World of Interiors, October 2010
  • Vacuous, Venal and Vain’, a review of Architecture's Evil Empire? The Triumph and Tragedy of Global Modernism,by Miles Glendinning, Architecture Today (212), October 2010
  • This is “Feel Good” in the Sense of Having a Nice Time in a Pretty Place’, a review of Miami Modern Metropolis, by Allan T.Shulman, The Architectural Review, 228 (1363), September 2010
  • Arts and Crafts Master: The Houses and Gardens of M.H. Baillie Scott, by Ian Macdonald-Smith (review), The World of Interiors, August 2010
  • Annotating, Recording, Civilising’, a review of Pevsner: Volume One, the Early Life: Germany and Art, by Stephen Games (review), The Tablet, 17 July 2010
  • Wallpaper: a History of Style and Trends, by Carolle Thibault-Pomerantz, and Wallpaper: the Ultimate Guide by Charlotte Abrahams, The World of Interiors, February 2010
  • ‘The Wonder is that Architects Today Take so Little Notice of it’, a review of Elizabethan Architecture: its rise and fall, 1540-1640, by Mark Girouard, Architectural Review, 227 (1356), February 2010
  • ‘England's Spiritual Home’, a review of The Old Rectory: the Story of the English Parsonage, by Anthony Jennings, Country Life, 204 (4), 27 January 2010
  • ‘Female Pattern Boldness’, a review of Jacqueline Groag, Textile and Pattern Design: Wiener Werkstaette to American Modernism, by Geoffrey Rayner, Richard Chamberlain, and Annamarie Stapleton, The Tablet, 9 January 2010
  • ‘Sex and Space in Georgian London’ a review of The Secret History of Georgian London: How the Wages of Sin Shaped the Capital, by Dan Cruikshank, Architectural Review, 226 (1354), December 2009
  • Laura Ashley, by Martin Wood (review), The World of Interiors, November 2009
  • Living Buildings, by Donald Insall (review), The Victorian, November 2009
  • Transparent Glories’, a review of The Stained Glass of AWN Pugin, by Stanley A. Shepherd, The Tablet, 24 October 2009
  • ‘Walk On By’, a review of At the Edge, by Joseph Murphy, The Tablet, 25 October 2009.
  • Arata Isozaki, by Ken Tadashi Oshima, and Hitoshi Abe, by Naomi Pollock (review), The World of Interiors, October 2009
  • ‘Supremacy of the Pickaxe’, a review of The Roman Forum,by David Watkin, The Tablet, 1 August 200
  • Portmeirion, by Leslie Gerry and Robin Llywelyn (review), The World of Interiors, July 2009
  • ‘Bring on the Swags’, a review of The Poetic Home: Designing the 19th-century Poetic Interior, by Stefan Muthesius, The Tablet, 6 June 2009
  • A New and Native Beauty: the Art and Craft of Greene & Greene, by Edward R. Bosley and Anne E Mallek, The World of Interiors, May 2009
  • ‘Anachronistic Immortality’, a review of Modern Memorial Brasses 1880-2001, by David Meara, The Tablet, 11 April 2009  
  • Ornament and Crime Scene, a review of The Judicious Eye, by Joseph Rykwert, Architecture Today, September 2008
  • Brief reviews of The English House, by Clive Aslet; A Little History of the English Country Church, by Roy Strong; The Pilgrim's Guide to Devon's Churches, by Nicholas Orme and others; and The Truth about Cottages, by John Woodforde, The Tablet, 27 September 2008
  • ‘Embarrassed hilarity’, a review of Frederick William Faber: a Great Servant of God, by Melissa Wilkinson, True Principles (the journal of The Pugin Society), vol. 3 no. 5, Autumn 2008
  • Follies of Europe, by Caroline Holmes and Nicholas Barlow (review), The World of Interiors, September 2008
  • ‘Beyond Blubber’, a review of Blubberland: the Dangers of Happiness, by Elizabeth Farrelly, Architectural Review, September 2008
  • Brief reviews of Medieval Architectural Drawing, by Arnold Pacey; and John Betjeman on Churches, by Jonathan Glancey, The Tablet, 5 July 2008
  • Julius Shulman: Palm Springs’, by Michael Stern and Alan Hess (review), The World of Interiors, June 2008
  • ‘Household God’, a review of The English Country House Chapel, by Annabel Ricketts, The Tablet, 31 May 2008
  • ‘Maypoles felled’, a review of How to Read a Village, by Richard Muir, The Tablet, 1 March 2008
  • ‘Thinkers for architects’, reviews of Delueze & Guattari / Heidegger / Irigay for Architects, by Andrew Ballantyne / Adam Sharr / Peg Rawes, Architectural Review, February 2008
  • Building St Paul's, by James Campbell / A History of St Mary & St Michael Parish, Commercial Road The Forbidden City, by Geremie R. Barmé ( brief reviews), The Tablet, 23 February 2008
  • The English House, by Hermann Muthesius (English edition) (review), The World of Interiors, February 2008
  • ‘Legacy in concrete’, a review of Britain’s Lost Cities, by Gavin Stamp, The Tablet, 19 January 2008
  • ‘Economic Equation’, a review of Brandscapes, by Anna Klingmann, Architectural Review, December 2007
  • Era of industry’, a review of Victorian Architecture, by James Stevens Curl, The Tablet, 8 December 2007
  • ‘Émigré Lives’, a review of They Laid the Foundations, by Myra Wahrhaftig, Architectural Review, November 2007
  • ‘Silk bindings’, a review of Raphael, by Bette Talvacchia, The Tablet, 24 November 2007
  • Design and Landscape for People, by Clare Cumberlidge and Lucy Musgrave (review), The World of Interiors, October 2007
  • The Arts and Crafts Movement, by Rosalind P. Blakesley (review), The World of Interiors, September 2007
  • Eliot Noyes, by Gordon Bruce (review), The World of Interiors, July 2007
  • ‘Victorians’ English Utopia’, a review of Medievalism, by Michael Alexander and St Pancras Station, by Simon Bradley, The Tablet", 9 June 2007
  • Domus 1929-1999, edited by Charlotte and Peter Fiell (review), The World of Interiors, June 2007
  • Touching the Void, a review of Written into the Void, by Peter Eisenman, Architectural Review, May 2007
  • Imagined Interiors: Representing the Domestic Interior Since the Renaissance, edited by Jeremy Aynsley and Charlotte Grant (review), The World of Interiors, May 2007
  • ‘Fantastical Designs’, a review of The Cathedral of Saint Fin Barre at Cork, by David Lawrence and Ann Wilson, The Tablet, 14 April 2007
  • ‘Modernist Rediscovery’, a review of Mediating Modernism, by Andrew Higgot, Architectural Review, March 2007
  • ‘Hidden Gems’, a review of Jewish Heritage in Britain: an Architectural Guide, by Sharman Kadish, The Tablet, 24 February 2007
  • ‘Keeping it Realist’, a review of William Holman Hunt: painter, painting, paint, by Carol Jacobi, The Tablet, 30 December 2006
  • ‘Burnished with gold’, a review of Sir Ninian Comper, by Anthony Symondson and Stephen Bucknall, The Tablet, 28 October 2006
  • The Furniture Machine: Furniture since 1990, by Gareth Williams (review), The World of Interiors, November 2006
  • ‘A City Divided’, a review of City of Collision: Jerusalem and the Principles of Conflict Urbanism, edited by Philipp Misselwitz and Tim Rieniets, Architectural Review, October 2006
  • ‘Religious wanderer’, a review of The Life of Richard Waldo Sibthorp, by Michael Trott, The Tablet, 2 September 2006
  • ‘Hooked on classics’, a review of Phaidon Design ClassicsArchitectural Review, July 2006
  • Clown of lively genius, a review of William Kent: architect, designer, opportunist, by Timothy Mowl, The Tablet, 29 July 2006
  • ‘Search and Destroy’, a review of The Destruction of Memory,by Robert Bevan, Architectural Review, June 2006
  • The Furniture of Carlo Mollino, by Fulvio Ferrari and Napoleone Ferrari (review), The World of Interiors, July 2006
  • Joseph Gandy, by Brian Lukacher (review), The World of Interiors, June 2006
  • ‘Red herrings from a pop philosopher’, a review of Architecture of Happiness, by Alain de Botton, The Tablet, 29 April 2006
  • The 70s House, by David Heathcote and Sue Barr (review), The World of Interiors, April 2006
  • ‘Manly hard work with no clutter’, a review of Still Looking: Essays on American Art, by John Updike (review), The Tablet, 18 March 2006
  • Save Britain’s Heritage 1975-2005: Thirty Years of Campaigning, by Marcus Binney (review), The World of Interiors, March 2006
  • Wall Street: a Cultural History, by Steve Fraser (review), Modern Painters, February 2006
  • Is Mr Ruskin Living Too Long?: Selected Writings of E.W. Godwin on Victorian Architecture, Design and Culture, edited by Juliet Kinchin and Paul Stirton (review), The Tablet, 21 January 2006
  • ‘The Lure of Egypt’, a review of The Egyptian Revival: Ancient Egypt as the Inspiration for Design Motifs in the West, by James Stevens Curl, Architectural Review, January 2006
  • The Iconic Building, by Charles Jencks (review), The World of Interiors, January 2006
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The reputation of architects at times of change

For the last ten years I have been working on a series of projects that all fall within the overall category of ‘the reputation of architects at times of change’. This began with my detailed investigation into the English architects whose careers were thrown off course by the success of the gothic revival from the 1840s. My book The English Parsonage in the Early Nineteenth Century, published by Spire Books in 2008, provides a richly illustrated depiction of the way in which the gothic revival and its protagonists swept across the country in a remarkably short period, in effect terminating or diverting the working lives of many of their predecessors. Please click here to view.

Between 2008 and 2012 I started to work on studies of architects whose contribution to architecture and the profession was not matched by public acclaim or financial success. The reasons for this are varied: sometimes they did not have the drive to become commercially or socially successful; some narrowly failed to win competitions, or did win but the project remained unbuilt. Sometimes they worked in an unfashionable style; sometimes they were difficult characters with too many enemies. My first detailed study was of the mainly Edwardian architect Horace Field, whose designs for Lloyds Bank branches that resembled Restoration-era merchants’ houses eventually transformed the appearance of the interwar English high street, but whose successful early career with high-profile clients, houses and offices seemed to fizzle out rapidly after the First World War. I have also written about the ‘architects’ architect’ Leonard Manasseh, an influential and popular teacher at the Architectural Association in the 1950s and architect of the National Motor Museum at Beaulieu and the former Rutherford School in Marylebone.

In Spring 2014 The MIT Press is publishing my book Bleak Houses: Disappointment and Failure in Architecture, which provides many examples of ‘loser’ architects, and which proposes an explanation for why certain types of architecture never receive the type of critique and appreciation that they deserve.

I have been writing for The World of Interiors for 25 years, and contribute to many other magazines and journals, and I often discuss these matters there.


Brittain-Catlin, Timothy (2014) Bleak Houses: Disappointment and Failure in Architecture. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass and London, UK, 192 pp. ISBN 9780262026697.
Brittain-Catlin, Timothy (2011) ‘Downward trajectory: towards a theory of failure’. arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 15 (02). pp. 139-147.
Brittain-Catlin, Timothy (2010) ‘Horace Field and Lloyds Bank’. Architectural History, 53. pp. 271-294. ISSN 0066-622X.
Brittain-Catlin, Timothy (2010) Leonard Manasseh & Partners. 20th Century Architects. RIBA Publishing / English Heritage / The Twentieth Century Society, London, 162 pp. ISBN 9781859463680


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As Module Convenor/Lecturer/Tutor:

Module Code Module Title Information
AR832 Research Methods and Analysis
  • Module Convenor
AR842 The Legislative Framework
  • Module Convenor
AR597/AR602 Dissertation
  • Tutor
AR551 Nineteenth-Century Architecture
  • Module Convenor
AR545 Adapt and Extend
  • Tutor
AR543 Urban 2
  • Tutor

As Supervisor:

  • PhD supervision


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Kent School of Architecture, Marlowe Building, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NR

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Last Updated: 19/09/2016