- Research Associate, CU Dept of Architecture
- Director of Studies in Architecture, Wolfson and Churchill College
Dr Alistair Fair is an architectural historian. He is especially interested in public and institutional buildings in Britain, with, in recent years, a particular focus on twentieth-century architecture. He is a Research Associate in the Department of Architecture, where he also lectures and supervises on topics in British architectural history.
Alistair’s PhD, completed at Cambridge in 2008, provides the first detailed architectural history of twentieth-century British theatre, considering in particular the way in which new ideas were given built form in the post-war decades. In addition to various articles in architectural-historical journals, he has co-authored a book on theatre architecture, Geometry and Atmosphere: Theatre Buildings from Vision to Reality (Ashgate, 2011), which couples detailed examination of the origins, design and delivery of recent British theatre buildings with chapters offering a longer historical overview.
Since October 2009, Alistair has been part of a multi-institution, EPSRC-funded project examining how existing hospital buildings in Britain may be made more resilient to climate change. The cross-disciplinary team is devising a series of practical, costed re-design strategies for the NHS. Alistair’s contribution includes contextualising this work by drawing out the history of the sites and buildings with which the team is concerned. Existing histories of hospital architecture tend to stop in 1948 and so this research will make a valuable contribution in its own right; some of the material will be presented at a major European architectural history conference in summer 2012. He also investigates current refurbishment projects, applying established architectural-historical methods to create detailed contemporary case histories. Other recent work includes research on post-war university building, including a detailed study of Cambridge's Sidgwick Site, to be published in 2013.