Portrait of Professor Nicholas Temple Professor Nicholas Temple

n.temple@hud.ac.uk | 01484 471442


Nicholas Temple is an internationally recognised academic in the fields of architectural and urban history and theory, having joined the University of Huddersfield as Professor of Architecture in April 2012 and is Director of the Centre for Urban Design, Architecture and Sustainability. He previously served as professor of architecture and head of the School of Architecture at the University of Lincoln (2006-2012). He has taught at universities in the UK and the USA, including the University of Nottingham, Liverpool University and as an assistant professor of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania (2000-2002).  Born in Australia, Temple is a qualified architect, having studied at Magdalene College, Cambridge University, and holds a PhD on the subject of architecture and urbanism in early 16th Century Rome. He was a Rome Scholar in Architecture (1986-88) at the British School at Rome, a Paul Mellon Rome Fellow (2012) and has been awarded numerous research grants for projects relating to the history and theory of architecture and urbanism, including a British Academy/Leverhulme Small Grant Award (2016), for the project ‘Lorenzo Ghiberti’s 3rd Commentary: Translation and Commentary’, in collaboration with Professor Panti, Rome University, Tor Vergata; a Paul Mellon Education Grant (2012), to support an international symposium at Lincoln Cathedral and publication, Bishop Robert Grosseteste and Lincoln Cathedral: Tracing Relationships between Medieval Concepts of Order and Built Form, edited by Nicholas Temple, John Hendrix and Christian Frost (Farnham: Ashgate, 2014), and an RIBA Research Trust Award (2004) to research his book Disclosing Horizons: Architecture, Perspective and Redemptive Space (London: Routledge, 2006). Professor Temple was shortlisted in 2014 by the International Committee of Architecture Critics for the Bruno Zevi Book Award for this publication, Renovatio Urbis: Architecture, Urbanism and Ceremony in the Rome of Julius II, in the Classical Tradition in Architecture Series (London: Routledge, 2011). He is chief editor of the Routledge Research in Architectural History series, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, the Royal Society of Arts and an Academician of the Academy of Urbanism.

Research and Scholarship

My recent research and scholarship focuses on the historical inter-relationships between architecture, topography, ceremony and geography, examining territorial, symbolic and ideological exchanges between interiors, buildings, cities and regions. This examination transgresses the conventional boundaries between architecture, urban design, painting, inscription, cartography and sculpture, incorporating broader inter-disciplinary research across historical periods and regions. Much of the research has been focused on the city of Rome, as evidenced in my numerous publications and in my research as a Paul Mellon Rome Fellow at the British School at Rome (2012). At the same time I have been engaged in detailed research on the study of architecture as a humanistic discipline, examining in particular connections between architecture, language, gesture and pictorial representation. This research has highlighted how the humanistic tradition of linguistic enquiry, during the early modern period, served as a critical backdrop to the emergence of modern forms of Encyclopedism and the increasing interest in the possibility of both a universal linguistic system and an architectural language. More recently I have developed an interest in architectural traditions in China and how they relate to European practices, having co-curated an Arts Council funded exhibition on China, entitled China East-West: The Alternative Face of Globalisation in Urban and Rural Transformation, Huddersfield Art Gallery (February-April 2016) and am in the process of co-authoring a book (with Yun Gao), entitled The Temporality of Building: European and Chinese Perspectives on Architecture and Heritage (London: Routledge, 2018).

Below is a list of both current and past research topics:

  • The Relation between Perspective and Optics in the Representation of Architecture in Renaissance Florence
  • Architecture, Music and Liturgy in 15th century Papal Rome
  • Reconciling Classicism and Orientalism in the 17th and 18th Centuries: Reception of Chinese Culture, Architecture and Landscape in Europe and in Sir William Chamber’s Grand Tour (1750-55)
  • Architecture, Urbanism and Ceremony in early 16th century Rome
  • Architecture and Cosmology: Lincoln Cathedral and Bishop Robert Grosseteste (1235-53)
  • Concepts of Geography and ‘Oecumene’ in the Greco-Roman and Early Modern Worlds
  • Development of Architecture as a Humanistic Discipline
  • Role of Architecture and Topography in the Spatial Understanding of Justice
  • Architecture, Ritual and Gesture
  • Architecture, Perspective and Redemptive Space during the Emergence of the Modern Age
  • Early Christian Architecture and Urbanism
  • The 19th Century European City (Paris, Brussels, London, Rome, Bucharest)
  • Pre and Post-Revolutionary Russia (urban and architectural developments in Moscow and St Petersburg)
  • Notions of the Sacred in Contemporary Architecture
  • Phenomenological Themes in Architecture and the City

Forthcoming publications:

Architecture and the Language Debate: Artistic and Linguistic Exchanges in Italy from the 15th to the early 18th Centuries - Routledge Research in Architectural History Series (London: Routledge, 2018)                                                     

Nicholas Temple and Yun Gao, The Temporality of Building: European and Chinese Perspectives on Architecture and Heritage (London: Routledge, 2018)

Nicholas Temple, Andrzej Piotrowski & Juan Heredia (eds.), Oxford Handbook of the Reception and Dissemination of Classical Architecture (New York: Oxford University Press, 2018)                                          

‘Remembering and Forgetting in Consumerism: Reflections on the Symbolic Meanings of Money, Profit and Financial Transaction’, in Verina Gfader (ed.), #TransActing: A Market of Values (Bristol: Intellect, 2016)

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Gao, Y. and Temple, N. (2018) ‘The Value and Meaning of Temporality and its Relationship to Identity in Kunming City, China’. In: Good Citizenship in Asia and Beyond. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press. .


Temple, N (2016) ‘Envisioning Geometry: Architecture in the Grip of Perspective’. In: Visioning Technologies : the Architectures of Sight. : Routledge. . ISBN 9781472454966

Gao, Y. and Temple, N. (2016) ‘The Value and Meaning of Temporality and its Relationship to Identity in Kunming City, China’. In: City and Society: The Care of the Self, 18th - 19th May 2016, Leiden, Netherlands

Rajendra, A. and Temple, N. (2016) ‘Religious ceremonies in Balinese society: a case study of a cremation ritual in TabananInternational Journal of Indonesian Studies , Spring. ISSN 2203-4692

Delsante, I., Gao, Y. and Temple, N.(2016) East-West China. The alternative faces of globalization in urban and rural transformations [Show/Exhibition]


Rajendra, A., Nicholls, R. and Temple, N. (2015) ‘Challenges of coast based Balinese ritual traditions’. In: Sharing Cultures 2015: Proceedings of the 4th International Conference on Intangible Heritage. : Green Lines Institute for Sustainable Development. pp. 293-300. ISBN 978-989-8734-12-9

Rajendra, A., Nicholls, R. and Temple, N. (2015) ‘The Importance of the Physical Boundary Line on Bali Coastal Tourist Resorts’. In: Recent Decisions in Technologies for Sustainable Development. Bali, Indonesia: Trans Tech Publications. p. 163. ISBN 9783038355045

Temple, N (2015) ‘Unfinished Architecture: Urban Continuity in the Age of the Complete’. In: Material Imagination: Reveries on Architecture and Matter. Surrey, UK: Ashgate. pp. 237-252. ISBN 9781472424587

Temple, N (2015) ‘Architecture as the Receptacle of ‘Mitsein’’. In: Intersections of Space and Ethos. London, UK: Routledge. . ISBN 978-1-13-878324-9


Temple, N (2014) ‘Introduction: Lincoln Cathedral and its Bishop’. In: Bishop Robert Grosseteste and Lincoln Cathedral: Tracing Relationships between Medieval Concepts of Order and Built Form. Surrey, UK: Ashgate. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4724-1275-1

Temple, N (2014) ‘Light and Procession: Bishop Grosseteste and the Ceremony of the Visitation’. In: Bishop Robert Grosseteste and Lincoln Cathedral: Tracing Relationships between Medieval Concepts of Order and Built Form. London, UK: Ashgate. pp. 29-58. ISBN 978-1-4724-1275-1

Heys, P., Temple, N., Adkins, M., Bailey, R., Tibbetts, S., Briers, D., MacDonald, J., Powell, A., Devlin, L. and Gfader, V. (2014) ‘The making of the Allure of the Archive – an index of assemblies by Art (&) Currency: Institute of Vanishing Principles and Spells, 2013–2014Journal of Writing in Creative Practice , 7 (3), pp. 511-516. ISSN 17535190

Temple, N (2014) ‘Plotting the Centre: Bramante’s Drawings for the New St. Peter’s Basilica’. In: Recto Verso: Redefining the Sketchbook. Surrey, UK: Ashgate. pp. 65-82. ISBN 978-1-4094-6866-0

Temple, N (2014) ‘Rites of Intent: The Participatory Dimension of the City’. In: Cityscapes in History: Creating the Urban Experience. London: Ashgate. pp. 155-177. ISBN 9781409439592

Temple, N., Hendrix, J. and Frost, C. (2014) Bishop Robert Grosseteste and Lincoln Cathedral: Tracing Relationships between Medieval Concepts of Order and Built Form . : Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4724-1275-1


Temple, N (2013) ‘Changing Identities in the Oecumene: Geography and Architecture in the Greco-Roman World’. In: Territories of Identity: Architecture in the Age of Emerging Globalization. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 3-18. ISBN 9780415622882

Temple, N (2013) ‘‘Renaissance’ and ‘Mannerism’ entries’. In: Oxford Dictionary of Christian Art and Architecture. : Oxford University Press. . ISBN 9780199680276

Temple, N (2013) ‘The Watchman in the Vineyard: Historical Traces of Judicial and Punitive Practices in Lincoln’. In: Architecture and Justice: Judicial Matters in the Public Realm. London: Ashgate. pp. 51-70. ISBN 9781409431732

Simon, J., Temple, N. and Tobe, R. (2013) Architecture and Justice: Judicial Meanings in the Public Realm . Ashgate Studies in Architecture. : Ashgate. ISBN 9781409431732


Temple, N (2012) ‘Prologue: Cultivating Architecture’. In: The Cultural Role of Architecture Contemporary and Historical Perspectives. : Routledge. . ISBN 978-0-415-78341-5

Temple, N (2012) ‘Cultivating Architecture’. In: Cultural Role of Architecture. Abingdon: Routledge. . ISBN 978-0-415-78340-8


Temple, N (2011) ‘The Creative Architect and the Conservationist: Redefining a Contentious Relationship’. In: Historical Built Environments, between Permanence and Change: Theoretical Approaches and Practicalities colloquium, 6th July 2011, Nottingham, UK

Temple, N (2011) renovatio urbis: Architecture, Urbanism and Ceremony in the Rome of Julius II . Classical Tradition in Architecture. Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-47385-9


Temple, N (2010) ‘Gesture and Perspective in Raphael’s School of Athens’. In: Renaissance Theories of Vision. London: Ashgate. pp. 135-148. ISBN 978-1-4094-0024-0

Temple, N (2010) ‘Rites of Intent: The Participatory Dimension of the City’. In: Cityscapes in History: Creating the Urban Experience, 29th - 30th July 2010, Munich, Germany

Temple, N., Bandyopadhyay, S., Tobe, R. and Lomholt, J. (2010) The Humanities in Architectural Design: A Contemporary and Historical Perspective . Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-55113-7


Temple, N (2009) ‘Changing Identities in the Oikoumene’. In: 2009 ADGD Conference: The Multiple Faces of Identity in the Designed Environment, 17th - 18th September 2009, Nottingham, UK


Temple, N. and Bandyopadhyay, S. (2007) Thinking Practice: Reflections on Architectural Research and Building Work . : Black Dog Publishing. ISBN 978 1 906155 24 7

Temple, N (2007) ‘Gesture and Perspective in 16th century Humanism’. In: Annual International Conference of the Renaissance Society of America, 22nd - 24th March 2007, Miami, USA

Temple, N (2007) ‘The Enigma of Pyramids: Measuring Salvation in Renaissance Rome’. In: Chora. : McGill University. .


Temple, N (2006) Disclosing Horizons: Architecture, Perspective and Redemptive Space . : Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-28357-1

Temple, N (2006) ‘Giants and Columns: The Meaning of the Primitive in Renaissance Thought’. In: Primitive Original Matters in Architecture. : Routledge. . ISBN 978-0-415-38539-8

Temple, N (2006) ‘Julius II as second Caesar’. In: Julius Caesar in Western Culture. : Wiley. . ISBN 9781405125994


Temple, N (2004) ‘Contemplating the Angle and the Circumference: Nicholas Cusanus and Divine Logos’. In: CongressCATH 2004 The Architecture of Philosophy/The Philosophy of Architecture, 9th - 11th of July 2004, Bradford, UK

Temple, N (2004) ‘The Bishop's Eye: Robert Grosseteste and the Architecture of LightArchitectural Theory Review , 9 (1), pp. 1-18. ISSN 1326-4826

Temple, N (2004) ‘Baptism and sacrifice: cosmogony as private ontologyArchitectural Research Quarterly , 8 (1), pp. 47-60. ISSN 1359-1355


Temple, N (2002) ‘Heritage and forgery: Annio da Viterbo and the quest for the authenticPublic Archaeology , 2 (3), pp. 151-162. ISSN 14655187

Temple, N (2002) ‘Conversion and Political Expedience: Imperial Themes in the Early Christian BaptisteryAnnales del Instituto de Investigaciones Esteticas , 24 (80), pp. 5-45. ISSN 1870-3062


Temple, N (2001) ‘From marketplace to non-place: questions of cultural atrophyUrban Design Studies , 7. ISSN 1358-3255


Temple, N (1999) ‘History as malady or ontological paradigm?The Journal of Architecture , 4 (1), pp. 21-30. ISSN 1360-2365


Temple, N (1998) ‘The Hypnerotomachia Poliphilias a possible model for topographical interpretations of Rome in the early sixteenth centuryWord & Image , 14 (1-2), pp. 145-155. ISSN 0266-6286



2016: British Academy/Leverhulme Small Research Grant (10K); ‘Lorenzo Ghiberti’s 3rd Commentary: Translation and Commentary’, in collaboration with Professor Cecilia Panti, Rome University Tor Vergata.

2014: Short-listed for the International Committee of Architectural Historians Bruno Zevi Book Award (Renovatio Urbis: Architecture, Urbanism and Ceremony in the Rome of Julius II, Routledge, 2011)

2012: Paul Mellon Rome Fellowship (Yale University) at the British School at Rome

2012: Paul Mellon Education Grant (to support symposium on Lincoln Cathedral)

2004: RIBA Research Trust Award

2003: Stroud Bursary (Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain)

1995: 2nd Prize EAAE/AEEA European Competition on Writings in Architectural Education

1986 – 1988: Rome Scholarship in Architecture

1985: Kettle’s Yard ‘Brancusi’ Travel Award (Cambridge University)

1982: Powell Wilson Scholarship (Magdalene College, Cambridge University)

Keynote/Invited Speaker

November 2016:  Invited Speaker, Department of Art History and Visual Culture Research Seminars University of Exeter

July 2016:  Keynote Speaker, International Symposium: Settled Topographies: From Gibraltar to the Ganges, University of Liverpool, in association with the Architectural and Cultural Heritage of India, Arabia and the Maghreb Research Centre, University of Liverpool, and the Aga Kahn Documentation Centre, MIT.

March 2015: Invited Speaker at conference panel, Architecture and Voice, 61st Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America, Berlin.

Jan. 2015: Invited Speaker at symposium: Lincoln Cathedral and Architectural Theory, University of Lincoln

July 2013: Invited Speaker: Symposium and Opening of Exhibition Managing Heritage: Designing Sustainable Futures, Nottingham Trent University (funded by Sultanate of Oman)

June 2012: Invited Open Lecture (Paul Mellon Fellow), British School at Rome. Title of paper: Reception of the Orient in 17th and 18th Century Europe: Jesuit Missionary Work and Sir William Chambers’ Grand Tour’

July 2011: Invited Speaker, International Colloquium, Historical Built Environments: Between Permanence and Change – Theoretical Approaches and Practicalities (Nottingham Trent University)

July 2010: Keynote paper (‘Rites of Intent: The Participatory Dimension of the City’ at international conference: ‘Cityscapes: The Urban Experience’, Centre for Advanced Studies, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich

June 2010: Keynote paper (‘The Cultivation of Architecture’) at international conference 'The Cultural Role of Architecture', University of Lincoln

September 2008: Keynote paper (‘Changing Identities in the Oikoumene’) at international conference: Multiple Faces of Identity in the Designed Environment, Nottingham Trent University

November 2008: Invited Lecturer, Carleton University MArch European Studies Programme, Bern, Switzerland (Werner Oechslin Library, Einsiedeln, Schwyz - lecture theme: ‘Architectural Cosmopoeisis’)

March 2007: Invited Speaker at the American Renaissance Society, Annual Conference, Miami, Florida. Title of paper: ‘Gesture and Perspective in 16th Century Humanism’

November 2004: Invited Speaker at the ‘Bienal Panamericana de Architectura’, in Quito, Ecuador

November 1996: Invited speaker at international symposium, The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili: Architecture and the Dreamscape, organised by University of Pennsylvania, Department of Landscape Architecture. Paper title: ‘The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili as a Possible Model for Topographical Interpretations of Rome in the Early 16th Century’

April, 1996: Invited Speaker at the Russian Institute of Architecture, St. Petersburg,Russia

March/April 1996: Invited Lecturer at Moscow Architectural Institute (MARCHI)

July 1995: Invited to awards ceremony at EAAE/AEEA Forum XIV, Weimar (2nd Prize in EAAE European Competition in Essays in Architectural Education)

July 1995: Invited speaker at UNESCO/TEMPUS Conference, Bucharest, Romania. Title of paper: ‘Renovatio Imperii: Architecture and Ideology East and West’

Nov/Dec 1992: Invited Lecturer, “Ion Mincu” Institute of Architecture, Bucharest, Romania

Consultancy/Judging Panels/Academic Search Committees

August 2016: Invited member of Steering Group, Architectural Humanities Research Association (AHRA)

January 2015: Invited member of New Zealand Academy of Applied Research (NZAAR) and member of scientific committee for International Conference, ‘Urban Design and Cities Planning’(ICUDCP 2016), 25-26 June 2016, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

March 2013: Invited external assessor, proposed new MA in Architecture and Heritage, Manchester School of Architecture

November 2011: Invited external assessor, Mock REF, School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment & School of Art & Design, Nottingham Trent University.

March 2011: Invited Consultant/External Assessor for new academic programmes (PhD by Practice, Diploma in Architectural Conservation and Professional March), at the Azrieli School of Architecture, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada

October 2007: Invited on judging panel for the RIBA President’s Medal for the Student Dissertation Prize

January 2001: Invited judge (with Daniel Libeskind) for Student Design Competition, Graduate School of Fine Arts, University of Pennsylvania, USA

UK Editor, Interstices: Journal of Architecture and Related Arts (2008 – )

Editorial Boards/Peer Reviewer:

Chief Editor, Routledge Research in Architectural History Series (from 2016)

Editorial Panel, International Journal of Applied Arts Studies (2016-)

Editorial Panel, Journal of Architecture and Urbanism (2014 - )

Editorial Panel, EP series, Sternberg Press, Berlin (2012 - )

UK Editor, Interstices: Journal of Architecture and Related Arts (2008 - 2014)

(Invited/Peer Reviewer)

Built Environment Journal 

Journal of Architecture

Architectural Research Quarterly

Journal of Landscape Research

Classical Review

Renaissance Quarterly

Oxford University Press


Membership of Societies/Institutes:

Chartered Architect of the RIBA

Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts

Fellow of the Royal Historical Society

Academician of the Academy of Urbanism

Member of the British School at Rome

Research Degree Supervision

I have supervised and examined a range of PhD topics, in fields as diverse as Renaissance gardens, developments in the traditional market in Nigeria and Buddhist temples in India and Bengal. My particular research interests range from textual investigations of architecture as a discipline (from the Renaissance to the Eighteenth Century) to studies of the relationships between architecture, urban topography, ritual and geography, principally in the European context. Below is a list of possible projects for future doctoral research that relate closely to my recent research activities:

1. Changing relationships between geography and architectural representation, with specific focus on:

a) Exchanges between ‘Oriental’ and European Architecture and Garden Design from the 16th to the 18th Centuries

b) Rome as caput mundi: Transformations in Cartography and Urban Topography

c) Architecture and Pilgrimage in Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe and the Middle East

d) Architecture, the Mediterranean and the Oecumene in Late Antiquity

2. Architecture as a Humanistic Discipline, with specific focus on:

a) Architecture and the Linguistic Metaphor

b) Architecture and the Crisis of the Humanities

c) The Architectural Treatise and the Humanistic Tradition

3. The Sacred and the Ecological in Architectural Thought, with specific focus on:

a) Itineraries and rituals of religious complexes in Late Antiquity and Early Modern Europe

b) Questions of the Sacred in Contemporary Architectural Thought

c) Architecture, the Environment and Cultural Ecology

More general topics of interest for doctoral supervision include the following:

1. Theories and History of Landscape

2. Architecture and Phenomenology

3. Late Roman and Early Christian Architecture

4. 19th Century European City

5. Medieval and Renaissance Studies

6. Baroque and 18th Century Architecture

7. Perspective Theory

8. Historical Perspectives of Globalization of the Contemporary City