Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering

Dr Robert Proctor\'s staff profile

Contact details

Room: 4ES 3.4
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 384098

PhD supervision

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Architectural history
  • Nineteenth and twentieth centuries
  • Modernism
  • Architecture and religion
  • Commerce and the city
  • Art Nouveau

Dr Robert Proctor

MA, PhD, PgCert


Robert Proctor is Senior Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory. He teaches a range of subjects in undergraduate programmes in architecture, and supervises research papers, masters' dissertations and PhD students. His research in architectural history focuses on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Robert Proctor studied Architectural History at the University of Edinburgh, and completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge supervised by Andrew Saint in 2002. From 2002 to 2014 he was Lecturer in Architectural History at the Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art, where he also obtained a PgCert academic teaching qualification from the University of Glasgow. He joined the University of Bath in 2014.


Robert Proctor’s research is on architectural history from the nineteenth to the twentieth centuries, with particular interest in how architecture produces the spaces of society through its institutions.

His most recent project, supported by a major grant from the Arts and Humanities Research Council and grants from the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art, was on Roman Catholic church architecture in post-war Britain. The book and numerous other publications that resulted from this work consider how and why modern architects and artists engaged with the clergy to produce new kinds of church building, both in terms of their internal planning for changing ideas about liturgy and externally in terms of their engagement with the modern city.

Earlier, his PhD research, much of it published as articles, examined the department store in Paris from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth century, considering the relationships between architects, their clients and the city in creating new kinds of commercial space.

Other work has emerged from these interests, particularly focusing on architectural design methods, including studies of Art Nouveau architects and designers in France; post-war British modernism; and architectural education in Britain in the early twentieth century.

Robert Proctor is a peer reviewer for the Arts and Humanities Research Council, and has given peer reviews for several journals including Architectural History, and for the Research Council of KU Leuven. He has been awarded grants by the AHRC, the British Academy, the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

He has presented at conferences of the Society of Architectural Historians (Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Vancouver); the European Architectural History Network (Brussels, with Ambrose Gillick, and Turin); the Design History Society (Delft); and many others, and has given invited talks for the University of Glasgow, the University of Manchester, the University of Texas at Austin, KU Leuven, Docomomo and the Twentieth Century Society. He has supervised PhD students on subjects including draughtsmanship in the nineteenth century; post-war New Town housing in Britain; and Scottish town halls.



Proctor, R. W., 2014. Building the Modern Church:Roman Catholic Church Architecture in Britain, 1955 to 1975. Routledge. (Ashgate Studies in Architecture)

Proctor, R. W. and Breidbach, O., 2007. Rene Binet:From Nature to Form. Prestel.

Proctor, R. W. and Breidbach, O., 2007. Rene Binet:Natur und Kunst. Prestel.

Book Sections

Proctor, R., 2017. Modern Medievalism: Dom Charles Norris, Dalle de Verre and the Blessed Sacrament Chapel. In: Beacham, P., ed. Buckfast Abbey: History, Art and Architecture. London: Merrell, pp. 207-231.

Proctor, R. W., 2014. Uncertainty and the Modern Church:Two Roman Catholic Cathedrals in Britain. In: Kulic, V., Penick, M. and Parker, T., eds. Sanctioning Modernism. Austin: University of Texas Press, pp. 113-138.

Proctor, R. W., 2012. Religion and nation:the architecture and symbolism of irish identity in the Roman Catholic Church in Britain. In: Quek, R., Deane, D. and Butler, S., eds. Nationalism and Architecture. Farnham, U. K.: Ashgate, pp. 39-51. (Ashgate Studies in Architecture)

Proctor, R. W., 2009. A World of Things in Emergence and Growth:René Binet’s Porte Monumentale at the 1900 Paris Exposition. In: O'Mahony, C., ed. Symbolist Objects. High Wycombe, U. K.: Rivendale Press, pp. 220-244.

Proctor, R. W., 2009. Evolution and Tradition: The Glasgow School of Architecture under Eugene Bourdon. In: McKenzie, R., ed. The Flower and the Green Leaf: Glasgow School of Art in the Time of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Edinburgh: Luath Press, pp. 80-94.


Proctor, R., 2017. Designing the suburban church: the mid twentieth-century Roman Catholic churches of Reynolds & Scott. Journal of Historical Geography, 56, pp. 113-133.

Proctor, R. W., 2011. Modern Church Architect as Ritual Anthropologist:Architecture and Liturgy at Clifton Cathedral. arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, 15 (4), pp. 359-372.

Proctor, R. W., 2008. Social Structures:Gillespie, Kidd & Coia’s Halls of Residence for the University of Hull. Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, 67 (1), pp. 106-129.

Proctor, R. W., 2007. Selling Art Nouveau in the Capital:The Nancy School in Paris. Art on the Line : International Arts Journal, 3.

Proctor, R. W., 2006. Constructing the Retail Monument: The Parisian Department Store and Its Property, 1855 to 1914. Urban History, 33 (3), pp. 393-410.

Proctor, R. W., 2006. The Architect’s Intention:Interpreting Post-War Modernism Through the Architect Interview. Journal of Design History, 19 (4), pp. 295-307.

Proctor, R. W., 2006. Architecture from the Cell-Soul:René Binet and Ernst Haeckel. The Journal of Architecture, 11 (4), pp. 407-424.

Proctor, R. W., 2005. Churches for a Changing Liturgy:Gillespie, Kidd & Coia and the Second Vatican Council. Architectural History: Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain, 48, pp. 291-322.

Proctor, R., 2003. A cubist history:the department store in late nineteenth-century Paris. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society (Sixth Series), 13, pp. 227-235.

Conference or Workshop Items

Proctor, R. and Gillick, A., 2016. The Architecture of Twentieth-Century Scottish Pilgrimage. In: Scottish Catholic Historical Association Annual Conference, 2016-10-29.

Proctor, R., 2016. Designing the Suburban Church: The Roman Catholic Church Architecture of Reynolds & Scott. In: Workshop, 'Architecture, Creativity and Everyday Faith', part of 'Making Suburban Faith' AHRC project at Royal Holloway and UCL, 2016-03-11, Royal Holloway.

Proctor, R., 2015. Designing the Suburban Middlebrow:The Ordinary Church Architecture of Reynolds and Scott. In: Behind the Scenes: The Hidden Mechanisms of Design and Architectural Culture, 2015-06-10 - 2015-06-11, Canterbury School of Architecture, University for the Creative Arts.

Proctor, R. W. and Gillick, A., 2014. Form and Reform:Roman Catholic Church Architecture in Britain and the Liturgical Movement before Vatican II. In: European Architectural History Network Second International Meeting, 2012-05-31 - 2012-06-03.

Proctor, R. W., 2014. Suburban Byzantine:Tradition and Modernity in the British Catholic Church. In: European Architectural History Network Third International Meeting, 2014-06-13 - 2014-06-21.

Proctor, R. W., 2014. Spaces of Future Unity:Roman Catholics and Early Ecumenical Architecture in Britain. In: Multi-Faith Spaces: Symptoms and Agents of Religious and Social Change, 2012-03-21 - 2012-03-22, University of Manchester.

Proctor, R. W., 2013. Sacred Circuitry:Moveable Architecture in the Post-War Roman Catholic Church. In: Sacred Spaces in Modern Britain, 2013-11-30, Twentieth Century Society.

Proctor, R. W., 2011. Hybrid Spaces of Worship:Multi-Functional Catholic Church Architecture in Post-War Britain. In: Modern Catholic Space, 2011-12-09 - 2011-12-10.

Proctor, R. W., 2011. Between the Rubrics:Modern Architecture in the Catholic Church. In: Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting - 2001, 2011-04-13 - 2011-04-17.

Proctor, R. W., 2011. Repositioning the Sacred:Roman Catholic Church Architecture in Britain and the Second Vatican Council. In: Annual Meeting of the American Historical Association, 'History, Society and the Sacred', 2011-01-06 - 2011-01-09.

Proctor, R. W., 2010. Reorienting the Sacred:1960s Church Design. In: Perspectives on Mid-Century Modernism, 2010-11-12.

Proctor, R. W., 2010. Religion and Nation:The Architecture and Symbolism of Irish Identity in the British Catholic Church. In: Theoretical Currents: Architecture and Nation, 2010-09-13 - 2010-09-15, Nottingham Trent University.

Proctor, R. W., 2009. Church Architect as Ritual Anthropologist. In: Field/Work: Conference of the Architectural Humanities Research Association, 2009-11-20 - 2009-11-21, University of Edinburgh.

Proctor, R., 2008. Liturgy as Ritual and Performance:Post-War Church Interiors in Britain. In: Staging the Modern Interior, 2008-04-01 - 2008-04-02, Modern Interiors Research Centre.

Proctor, R., 2007. The Twentieth-Century Church: New Interpretations:Conference Session. In: Society of Architectural Historians Annual Meeting, 2007-04-01 - 2007-04-02.

Proctor, R., 2007. Uncertainty and the Modern Church:Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral. In: Sanctioning Modernism: Architecture and the Making of Postwar Identities, 2007-03-02 - 2007-03-03.

Proctor, R., 2006. Architecture from the Cell-Soul: René Binet and Ernst Haeckel. In: Design and Evolution, 2005-09-01 - 2005-09-02.

Proctor, R., 2006. The Architect’s Intention. In: Art and Art History: Contents, Discontents, Malcontents, 2006-04-05 - 2006-04-07.

Non-academic press

Proctor, R., 2017. Obituary: Brian Mooney, 1928-2017. RIBA Journal

Proctor, R., 2016. Book review: Saint John’s Abbey Church: Marcel Breuer and the Creation of a Modern Sacred Space. Victoria M. Young. (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014). Material Religion: The Journal of Objects, Art and Belief

Proctor, R., 2016. Metzstein, Isi Israel (1928–2012). Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

This list was generated on Sun Oct 22 19:36:31 2017 IST.