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Public understanding of architecture

We've been using computer created visualisations and models to widen public understanding and appreciation of historical architecture and landscapes.

Computer generated picture of the Palladium Bridge in Prior park, Bath
We've developed CAD techniques to visualise and analyse historic buildings and landscapes

Preserving our history

Architectural history is popular with both academic and public audiences. The UK is rich with historic buildings and landscapes that provide educational and social benefits to visitors.

Preservation is key to maintaining our historic environment. Without it we could lose some of our most treasured architecture. Increasing public understanding of architecture could encourage more visitors to these sites and raise the awareness needed to make sure our historic buildings are preserved for the enjoyment of generations to come.

Visualising architecture

Our researchers have worked with organisations and charities to increase public interest in architectural history, both locally and internationally.

Computer aided design (CAD) was traditionally used by architectural design practitioners. Our researchers developed CAD techniques to construct innovative models that visualise and analyse historic buildings, and rural and urban landscapes. They have created models including Serlio’s Renaissance stage, Soane’s Bank of England and Napoleon’s coronation route.

Our researchers have also collaborated with the charities, National Trust and Bath Preservation Trust on visualisation projects of Prior Park and Beckford’s Tower in Bath.

Public exhibitions

These innovative models have been published in academic and popular monographs. They have also formed displays at public exhibitions and lectures in Europe and the United States.

Our research has led to a better understanding of historic architecture and landscapes. It has provided a platform to share architectural history with a wider audience in an engaging way. The increase of public interest in historic buildings and landscapes will help highlight the need for preservation and secure the future of our historic environment.

REF submission

This research was part of our REF 2014 submission for Architecture, Built Environment and Planning.

‘Their research project is already paying dividends, and has, I believe, begun to change the way that the Trust thinks about the uses of new digital computing technologies’
Head Curator, National Trust