A frontrunner of postmodern architecture in the UK

A frontrunner of postmodern architecture in the UK

A frontrunner of postmodern architecture in the UK

event Saturday, September 23, 2023 schedule 3.00pm - 4.00pm BST
Past event
Past event
event Saturday, September 23, 2023 schedule 3.00pm - 4.00pm BST
  • the stirling building
James Stirling’s iconic Faculty of History building at the heart of the University
In-person at Sidgwick | £15
Open to: 
Alumni and guests
Art and culture, Humanities
Seeley Historical Library | View details

Discover this iconic post-modern building that has served as the home to the Faculty of History since the 1960s. This session will be held in the Seeley Library, which occupies a commanding position, with its open desk spaces and fanned shelving, beneath the impressive glass roof.  

The speakers will discuss James Stirling’s legacy as the UK’s most well-known post-modernist architect, the design of the Cambridge building (as part of Stirling’s famous Red Trilogy).

They will also focus on the building’s importance as home for the History Faculty and the Seeley Library. The changing needs and make up of staff and students will be explored, including the need to adapt and be accessible, as well as a personal insight from history academics into their home. 

This session will be an opportunity for those interested in architecture to get the inside perspective on this renowned building; past, present and future, as well as an opportunity for History alumni to relive their days studying in the Seeley Library.


Professor Carl Watkins (Churchill College 1990)

Prof Carl Watkins

Carl Watkins is Deputy Chair of the History Faculty and is the academic lead in plans for the Stirling Building’s future development. Beyond his current administrative role, his research explores religious culture in the middle ages and he is especially interested in beliefs about the supernatural in this period. His work encompasses methodological problems of studying medieval religion, 'high' theological change and 'popular' beliefs about the afterlife and ghosts, angels and demons, miracles and divine signs. He has written a book for Cambridge University Press that examines beliefs about the supernatural in medieval England and has explored beliefs about the dead during the middle ages, and beyond, in a wider-ranging book published by Bodley Head. He is a Fellow of Magdalene College. 

Jess Mailey

Jessica Mailey

Jess is an Architect Director with 16 years’ experience designing education environments for BDP’s London studio.  She specialises in the co-ordination of architecture and engineering disciplines to achieve effective integration of design and execution of projects. Her experience of managing complex developments involving multiple stakeholders and environmental considerations is highly regarded in the industry. Jess has a collaborative approach and a passion for designing sustainable, educational and progressive environments, with students and teachers in mind. She has led interdisciplinary teams on a variety of major projects in diverse settings, including UNESCO world heritage site.

Jess is the lead architect helping the University to assess and draw up plans for the future of the Stirling Building

David Artis

David Artis

David is an Architect Director in the BDP London Studio. Over his career, he has worked on a variety of prestigious, award-winning projects in the culture and heritage sector. Often situated in sensitive contexts with challenging briefs, a large number of these projects have involved the successful integration of high quality, crafted interventions within grade-listed buildings. David collaborates with design teams, clients and stakeholders to uncover the hidden potential of sites and deliver projects that emphasize the characteristics which make them special, safeguarding their use and enjoyment for the future. Prior to joining BDP, David worked for MUMA and Michael Wilford & Associates - the office that carried the legacy of James Stirling. David was recipient of the RIBA President’s Medal for his student work.

Booking information

In-person lectures at the Sidgwick Site as part of Alumni Festival cost £15 per person.


Booking for this event is now closed.


Seeley Historical Library
Faculty of History
West Road
United Kingdom


Events Team