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Centre for Urban Conflicts Research



Maximilian Sternberg received his PhD in the History and Philosophy of Architecture at the Department of Architecture in Cambridge University. Following post-doctoral scholarships in Paris and Rome, he returned to Cambridge as a Research Associate of the ESRC-funded project ‘Conflict in Cities and the Contested State’. He was appointed University Lecturer in 2009. Sternberg is Fellow and Director of Studies at Pembroke College.


Sternberg's research interests cover both contemporary and historical areas of architecture. He studies the interplay of politics, religion and spatial practices in urban environments subject to ethnic and national conflicts in Europe and the Middle East. A recent project, funded by the British Academy, explored the role of public space and memory-sites in transnational interactions in Polish-German border towns.

Another area of interest is dedicated to the ongoing role of the reception of the Middle Ages in modern architecture. This builds on earlier work exploring the social meanings of architecture in the Middle Ages, and the interaction of religious reform, monastic architecture and the urban environment.

He is also interested more broadly in the relationship between philosophy and architecture, specifically the role of phenomenology and hermeneutics.

Sternberg serves on the Advisory Board of the ERC Grant 'EU Border Care: Giving Birth on Europe's remote borderlands' (2015-2020) at the European Institute in Florence.


Key publications: 


Cistercian Architecture and Medieval Society (Leiden: Brill, 2013).

The Struggle for Jerusalem’s Holy Places, with W. Pullan, C. Larkin, L. Kyriacou & M. Dumper, (London: Routledge; 2013).

Edited book

with H. Steiner, Phenomenologies of the City: Studies in the History and Philosophy of Architecture (London: Ashgate; 2015).

Journal articles

‘Arrested Conflict: Transnational place-making in Polish-German border towns.’ with Karol Kurnicki, Space and Polity, vol. 20, no.3, pp. 263-279.

‘Monastic Paradigms in Modernism: Le Thoronet and the Romantic Legacy.’ Journal of Architecture, vol. 17, no.6 (December 2012), pp. 925-949.

with W. Pullan, ‘The Making of Jerusalem’s Holy Basin.’ Planning Perspectives: An International Journal of History, Planning and the Environment, vol. 27, no. 2 (April 2012), pp. 219-42.

Book chapters

 ‘Vorreiter der Moderne? Rezeptionen der Zisterzienserbaukunst im zwanzigsten Jahrhundert.’ In Norbert Nußbaum, Georg Mölich und Harald Wolter von dem Knesebeck (eds.), Die Zisterzienser im Mittelalter (Vienna and Cologne: Böhlau Verlag, forthcoming 2017) ISBN 978-3-412-50718-3.

‘Medieval Moderns? Cistercians and the City’. In H. Steiner & M. Sternberg (eds.), Phenomenologies of the City: Studies in the History and Philosophy of Architecture. (Farnham: Ashgate 2015): pp. 49-66.

with F. Hernández, ‘Borderlands of the EU: The Spanish Enclave of Ceuta in Morocco.’ In W. Pullan & B. Baillie (eds.), Locating Urban Conflicts (London: Palgrave Macmillan; expected publication 2013).

with W. Pullan, ‘Designing the Biblical Present: Jerusalem’s “City of David”.’ In A. Webber, U. Staiger & H. Steiner (eds.) Memory Culture and the Contemporary City: Building Sites. (London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), pp. 106-25 [published under the name of Gwiazda].

Dr Maximilian   Sternberg

Contact Details

Email address: 
01223 332971