Practice and theory in dialogue
Nigel Walter, founding director of Archangel, is a Specialist Conservation Architect active in both architectural practice and research. The core of his research is the development of a narrative- and tradition-based approach to conservation that does justice to living buildings, addressed in his recent book, Narrative Theory in Conservation (Routledge 2020). This research informs and enriches Archangel’s approach to design, particularly with existing buildings.
Nigel’s doctoral research (2017, University of York) explored how the conservation process is experienced by those communities that animate and sustain living historic buildings, particularly medieval parish churches. He is a Research Associate in the Centre for the Study of Christianity and Culture at the University of York.
Nigel is a trustee of three charities, including the National Churches Trust, where he chairs the grants committee. He serves as a member of the Church of England’s Church Buildings Council, and the Baptist Union’s Listed Building Advisory Committee.
Nigel is as comfortable writing and speaking in a range of non-academic settings as in academia. He is a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects, and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts. He is actively involved in international conservation, and is a Board member of the ICOMOS International Scientific Committee for Theory and Philosophy of Conservation and Restoration (TheoPhilos), and a member of the ISC on Places of Religion and Ritual (PRERICO).
Nigel’s current research focus concerns sustainability and heritage. The professional/practical aspect is currently focused on his role as chair of a joint working group developing sustainability guidance for church architects and surveyors with representatives of the Church Buildings Council and the Ecclesiastical Architects and Surveyors Association. This guidance is due to be published in the first half of 2021. The academic aspect is expressed in the development of a second book project.
Far from being mere heritage attractions or functional spaces for religious worship, our churches are principally to do with people. The are inextricably tied to
Narrative Theory in Conservation engages with conservation, heritage studies, and architectural approaches to historic buildings, offering a synthesis of the best of each, and demonstrating that