University of Reading cookie policy

We use cookies on to improve your experience, monitor site performance and tailor content to you

Read our cookie policy to find out how to manage your cookie settings

Professor Flora Samuel

Portrait of Professor of Architecture in the Built Environment Flora Samuel
  • History and Theory strand lead
  • PhD supervisor
  • Urban Living Research Group lead
  • Principal investigator mapping eco social assets newton fund collaboration with Santo Tomas University
  • Co-investigator UK Collaborative Housing Evidence Centre (CACHE).

Areas of interest

  • Evidencing and communicating the value of architects
  • Developing architecture research practice
  • Knowledge exchange, interdisciplinarity and innovation
  • Socio-technical aspects of building performance valuation
  • Improving access to good housing
  • History of the architectural profession
  • Employability of architecture students
  • Design value, social value, housing, professionalism and intangible aspects of post occupancy evaluation.

Research centres and groups

Selected recent research grants

  • 2015–(PI) Evidencing and Communicating the Value of Architects, AHRC Research Leader Fellowship, £250K
  • 2013–(PI) The Cultural Value of Architecture in Homes and Communities (PI), AHRC £50K
  • 2012–(PI) 'Home Improvements', £250K AHRC Knowledge Exchange in the Creative Economy Project, collaboration with Taylor Wimpey, RIBA and Design for Homes

Academic qualifications

  • MA
  • DipArch (Cantab)
  • PhD
  • RIBA Chartered Architect.

Professional bodies/affiliations

  • RIBA Vice President Research
  • RIBA Elected National Councillor
  • Urbanism Environment Design (URBED) Trustee
  • Member of Academy of Urbanism
  • Member of Hong Kong Research Council, Architects' Council of Europe Innovation Panel.

Selected publications

New Publications

Current writing projects June 2017

Authored books

  • Flora Samuel and Inge Linder Gaillard, Sacred Concrete: The Churches of Le Corbusier (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2012). Shortlisted for RIBA President's Medal for Academic Based Research 2013. Shortlisted for the Art and Christianity Enquiry Mercer's Book Prize 2014
  • Flora Samuel, Elements of the Architectural Promenade (Basel: Birkhäuser, 2010)
  • Flora Samuel, Le Corbusier in Detail (London: Architectural Press, 2007). Longlisted for the RIBA International Book Awards 2008. Translated in Japanese and Chinese
  • Jo Odgers, Flora Samuel and Adam Sharr (eds.), Primitive (London: Routledge, 2006)
  • Flora Samuel, Le Corbusier: Architect and Feminist (London: Wiley, 2004)
  • Sarah Menin and Flora Samuel, Nature and Space: Aalto and Le Corbusier (London: Routledge, 2002).

Career Path

Concerned by the seeming inability of the Architecture profession in Britain to convey to the public its value, Flora's work focuses on architects, their skills and how they communicate them to the outside world. Her particular focus is on homes, housing and neighbourhoods in the UK and beyond.


Trained at Cambridge and Princeton, Flora is an architect, an architectural historian and teaches design. After working for a few years as a housing practitioner in London she moved to the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff. She then became Director of the MArch at the University of Bath School of Architecture. In 2009, she took up the post as Head of the School of Architecture at the University of Sheffield which she led for four years, achieving excellent rankings in both student satisfaction and research. Flora came to the University of Reading because she feels strongly that a new model of architectural education is needed: one in which research, collaboration and business skills are allied to creativity, design and social responsibility.


Flora feels that profession and architectural education need to change in order to become more relevant. This is why she has recently become active in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). She was elected a National Member of RIBA Council in July 2014 has led the RIBA Student Destinations Survey for the last four years. Widening participation in the profession is of great importance to her.