Keith Critchlow

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Keith Critchlow
Keith Barry Critchlow

(1933-03-16) 16 March 1933 (age 86)
Alma materSummerhill School
Royal College of Art
Occupationprofessor of architecture, author
Known forsacred architecture design and analysis, co-founder of the Temenos Academy

Keith Barry Critchlow (born 16 March 1933[1]) is an artist, lecturer, author, and professor of architecture in England, and a co-founder of the Temenos Academy.


Critchlow was educated at the Summerhill School and the Royal College of Art.[2] He performed national service in the Royal Air Force from 1951 to 1953.[1]

Having been originally trained as a classical painter,[3] he has authored many books on geometry, including Order in Space, Islamic Pattern as a Cosmological Art, and Time Stands Still. He has also contributed the forewords to English editions of works by Titus Burckhardt, Frithjof Schuon, and others.[4]

Critchlow was formerly a lecturer at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London for twelve years, and had been a professor of Islamic Art at the Royal College of Art in London from 1975 for many years.[5] He founded Visual Islamic and Traditional Arts (VITA) school in 1984,[5] which moved from the Royal College of Art to The Prince's Institute of Architecture in 1992–3, where he was director of research. The institute later evolved into The Prince's Foundation, within which Prince's School of Traditional Arts was housed. He is a professor emeritus at VITA and serves as director for research.[6] He also taught at The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment in London.

He is a leading expert in sacred architecture and sacred geometry and founded Kairos, a society which investigates, studies, and promotes traditional values of art and science. He served there as director of studies.

Critchlow's architectural work includes the Krishnamurti Study Centre in England,[7] the Lindisfarne Chapel in Crestone, Colorado, in the United States with a special design for the vaulting of the dome,[8] and The Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences in Puttaparthi, India. Isaac Tigrett, who had founded the Hard Rock Cafe enterprise, secured Critchlow's aid to design a hospital in the Prasanthi Nilayam ashram in Puttuparthi.[9] Critchlow's use of sacred geometry played a major role in these architectural designs and projects.

He is president of the Temenos Academy.[10]

Selected works[edit]

Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital, Puttaparthi, A.P., India. Designed by Critchlow


  • Order in Space (A design source book), 1969
  • Into the Hidden Environment: The Oceans, illustrations by David Nockels, 1973 (Viking Studio)
  • Islamic Patterns, 1976
  • Earth Mysteries : A Study in Patterns, 1978
  • Time Stands Still: New Light on Megalithic Science, 1979
  • Soul As Sphere and Androgyne, 1980
  • Research : Principles, Policy and Practice, London : Prince of Wales's Institute of Architecture, 1993
  • The Whole Question of Health: Enquiry into Architectural First Principles in the Designing of Health Care Buildings, 1995
  • Islamic Art and Architecture: System of Geometric Design, 1999
  • The Hidden geometry of Flowers: Living Rhythms Form and Number, 2011
  • "The Knap of Howar and The Origins of Geometry", Kairos Publications, 2016 - A collaboration between Nicholas Cope ( and Keith Critchlow.


  • "The Platonic Tradition on the Nature of Proportion", in Bamford, Christopher, Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science, 1994.
  • "What is Sacred Architecture?", in Bamford, Christopher, Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science, 1994.
  • "Twelve Criteria for Sacred Architecture", in Bamford, Christopher, Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science, 1994.



  • Allen,Jon; (Foreword by Keith Critchlow). Drawing Geometry: A Primer of Basic Forms for Artists, Designers and Architects, Floris Books (30 October 2007). ISBN 978-0863156083

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Cf. Debrett's People of Today entry for Prof. Critchlow
  2. ^ "Biography: Keith Critchlow", Board of Advisers, Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, New York.
  3. ^ Bamford, Christopher, Homage to Pythagoras: Rediscovering Sacred Science, Lindisfarne Press, 1994, ISBN 0-940262-63-0. Cf. author profiles.
  4. ^ foreword in The Foundations of Christian Art: Illustrated by Titus Burckhardt, edited by Michael Fitzgerald; foreword in Art from the Sacred to the Profane: East and West by Frithjof Schuon, edited by Catherine Schuon; foreword in Chartres: and the birth of the cathedral by Titus Burckhardt; translated from the German by William Stoddart. Ipswich: Golgonooza, 1995.
  5. ^ a b Male, Lydia Sharman, "In the Mind of the Beholder", Saudi Aramco World, May/June 1990
  6. ^ Prince's School of Traditional Arts – Trustees and Staff "Dr Keith Critchlow, Professor Emeritus, Founder, and Director of Research"
  7. ^ The Krishnamurti Centre in England
  8. ^ Creston Mountain Zen Center – location and history of the dome Lindisfarne Chapel
  9. ^ Lerwill, John, "Who is Sai"
  10. ^ Temenos Academy – key individuals: Patron: His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, President: Professor Keith Critchlow, Chairman: Sir Nicholas Pearson, Bt.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]