Robert Tavernor is Emeritus Professor of Architecture and Urban Design, and the former Director of the Cities Programme. He studied architecture in London (BA and Dip. Arch with Distinction ), Rome ( Scholar in Architecture at the British School of Rome ), and at the University of Cambridge ( St John's College, PhD 1985). He has previously held chairs at Edinburgh and Bath: he was Forbes Professor of Architecture at the University of Edinburgh (1992-1995) and Professor of Architecture and Head of the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering at the University of Bath (1995 - 2005). He has also held various visiting academic posts internationally, including: Visiting Professor at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA, 1998); European Union Visiting Scholar in Planning and Conservation at Texas A+M (2002), and Visiting Professor at the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil (2004).
Robert Tavernor is a member of RAE2008 sub-panel 30, Architecture and the Built Environment. He is a registered architect and a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (since 1985). He has acted as chairman of international design juries. As a consultant architect and historian he provides architectural, heritage and urban planning advice to institutions, developers and architects in London.
His publications focus on the classical tradition of European architecture and cities, body and building, and on the urban development of London. They include Palladio and Palladianism (Thames and Hudson, 1991 - subsequently translated into Italian, Chinese, Korean), and On Alberti and the Art of Building (Yale UP, 1998). He co-edited and contributed an essay to Body and Building: Essays on the changing relation of Body to Architecture (The MIT Press, 2002), and is author of a parallel volume, Smoot's Ear: The Measure of Humanity (Yale UP, 2007). He is co-translator of two English translations of architectural treatises: Leon Battista Alberti's 16th century De re aedificatoria, as On the Art of Building in Ten Books, (The MIT Press, 1988); and Andrea Palladio's 17th century I quattro libri dell'architettura, as The Four Books on Architecture (The MIT Press, 1997). Currently, he is co-translating a new English edition of Vitruvius's Ten Books on Architecture for Penguin Classics. His essay, 'From Townscape to Skyscape', (The Architectural Review, March 2004) summarises his recent urban research on the visual impact of tall buildings in London.