I have been Professor of Architectural History and Theory at Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) since 2005. My principal research interests are Italian Renaissance architecture, Scottish medieval and early modern architecture and the Classical Tradition.
I studied History and Theory of Art at Essex University; Italian Renaissance Architectural Theory at the University of East Anglia; and wrote my doctoral thesis on ‘Reconstructions of Roman temples made in Italy between 1450 and 1600’ for Oxford University. I moved to Edinburgh to work as a Historic Buildings Inspector for the predecessor of Historic Scotland (1981-6). After two years as Research Collaborator on the Census of Antique Works of Art and Architecture known in the Renaissance at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome, I returned to the UK as Librarian of the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art, University of Cambridge (1988 -1991), before moving in 1992 to ECA as Lecturer in Architectural History and Theory and Cultural Context Coordinator. I have held a British School at Rome Scholarship (1979-80), a Leverhulme Senior Research Fellowship (1996-7), a British Academy Research Readership (2004-6) and was Rudolf Wittkower Guest Professor at the Bibliotheca Hertziana in Rome from 2010 to 2012. The Paul Mellon Centre for British Art awarded me a Mellon Senior Fellowship for 2015-16 to write a book on the Renaissance and Baroque in Scottish architecture.
I am on research leave for 2015-16, while holding the Mellon Fellowship but normally teach at all levels, including honours courses on ‘Architecture in Scotland before 1650’ and ‘The Meanings of Classicisms’, and a postgraduate course for History of Art on Scottish Medieval and Renaissance Architecture. I currently supervise research students working on the architectural and social history of Hopetoun House and on the development of the concert hall as a building type in early modern Britain and Ireland.
My edition of the Oxford Codex of Pirro Ligorio (c. 1513-83) is currently and working towards a book on Scottish Renaissance architecture.
Externally I participate in several Scottish architectural conservation and heritage bodies and am currently convener of the Scottish Catholic Historical Association and chair of the Grants Committee of Scotland's Churches Trust, which funds the repair or places of worship in Scotland.