Cambridge University

Ax:son Johnson Centre for the Study of Classical Architecture

CSCA begins its work

Screenshot 2022-03-07 at 09.33.01

Cambridge University is delighted to announce the launch of a new Centre for the Study of Classical Architecture, generously supported by the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation for Public Benefit of Sweden.  

The University has a longstanding international reputation for its research and teaching on the classical tradition in architecture, whilst the Ax:son Johnson Foundation is widely known and respected for its encouragement of exploratory thinking in many areas of intellectual and cultural significance in Europe and the wider world. 

The new Centre, housed in the Neo-classical environs of Downing College, has recruited post- and pre-doctoral researchers, will run academic events, will disseminate its findings in paper and online publications, and will encourage public understanding of the history of classical buildings.  It will also run summer courses for students and others interested in how classical buildings are designed and made.

Dr Frank Salmon, Cambridge’s Director of the Centre, said: 

‘I am more pleased than I can say to have been given the opportunity of directing this Centre.  Classical architecture has existed in many times and places throughout history and its buildings are recognised and admired by millions.  Sadly, however, people today know and learn less about this beautiful form of architecture, how it came to be and how it works.  The new Centre, drawing on the combined expertise of Cambridge colleagues in architectural history, classics and architecture, aims to keep this architectural language alive through its research, its online presence and its Summer Schools.  I also look forward in particular to forging partnerships with colleagues in Sweden and further afield in Scandinavia.’

Kurt Almqvist, President of the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation said:

‘We’re proud to support this important project, which will further the understanding of the language of classical architecture, and we look forward to being an active partner with the new Centre.’

Cambridge University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stephen Toope, said:

‘This is just the sort of interdisciplinary enterprise that brings out the very best in the University.  I am confident that this will be the start of what I hope will be a long and fruitful relationship between the Foundation and the University.’