As a senior lecturer and qualified architect at Manchester School of Architecture, Laura has developed an interest in the process of site reading and the idea of relating the concept of architecture to the wider ideal of the city. This is examined at the smallest scale in the development of live projects and built interventions in the city and on a slightly larger scale by exploring the connection of memory and place through building reuse.

Laura is Year Leader for BA01 alongside Laura Coucill and Atelier Leader for the Postgraduate Unit Continuity in Architecture and it is these roles that have been the main influence of her academic exploits to date which focus on the reading of sites and existing buildings and the process of applying this research to new situations, buildings, interventions and interiors. Most notably Laura worked on the Atelier Zero project in 2012 and Sinister Dialogues in 2014.

Atelier Zero brought together Manchester School of Architecture and École Spéciale d’Architecture [Paris] in collaboration with the Office for Subversive Architecture in order to design and realise a project that embraces the original aspirations of the Olympic Games in the heart of the Piccadilly Basin in Manchester. The project, designed and built by staff and students, acted as a platform for social exchange in an abstract interpretation of the spirit of the Games.

Sinister Dialogues is a research project, symposium and exhibition which considers how a destructive past can be negotiated though the reuse of buildings and structures which have, at some point, housed a sinister use. In the project, Laura bought together, interviewed and chaired conversations between Irish architect Sheila O’Donnell who worked on the Good Shepherd Laundry and Letterfrack Furniture College, German architect HG Merz who transformed the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Berlin, architecture academic Margahrita Vanore from Venice School of Architecture who writes about Industrial Ruins, interior design academic Terry Meade who writes about violence and domestic space in Palestine, artist Abigail Reynolds who created a series of artworks for the Topophobia Exhibition in Liverpool and academic Sally Stone who writes on building reuse.

In all her research endeavours Laura begins with the principals of the postgraduate atelier Continuity in Architecture. The atelier focuses on the design of new buildings and the urban environments that use the process of analysing and understanding the nature and the qualities of place in order to develop new elements. In 2014 the atelier celebrated 20 years of research and design projects at the School under the direction of Principal Lecturer Sally Stone and in 2015 Laura took over as atelier leader, focussing on programmes for the Darsena in Milan and installations for Bollington in Cheshire.

In both her teaching and research projects, Laura works on the delicacy of place and the fundamental importance of understanding site and taking care over its interpretation and transformation. As stated quite beautifully by Umerto Riva:



Stone, S., Sanderson, L., 2019. UnDoing, Castlefield Gallery, Manchester, 21/3/2019 - 26/5/2019.

Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., Lee, SJ., 2017. Bakewell : Some Ideas, Bakewell Town Hall, 16/6/2017.

Sanderson, L., Lee, SJ., Stone, SH., 2017. The Way We Live Now, Bakewell Town Hall, 24/2/2017.

Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., Lee, SJ., 2016. Bollington. Real : Imagined, Bollington Arts Centre, 22/5/2016.

Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., Lee, SJ., 2013. If on a Winter's Night a Traveller : The Drawings, Cartmel Priory, 17/6/2013.

Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., Lee, SJ., 2013. If on a Winter's Night a Traveller : The Models, RIBA HUB : Manchester, 19/6/2013.

Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., Lee, SJ., 2012. Oddments and Epigrams : Interventions in Bollington, Bollington Arts Centre.


Sanderson, L., 2014. 'Analogies', Manchester.

Sanderson, L., 2013. 'Crossings', Manchester.

Sanderson, L., Jefferies, T., Aston, H., 2012. 'Atelier[zero]', Manchester.


Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., 2020. 'Remember, Reveal, Construct : Reflections upon the Contingency, Usefulness and Emotional Resonance of Architecture, Buildings and Context.', Routledge.

Book Chapters

Stone, S., Sanderson, L., 2019. 'UnDoing: An Essay by Sally Stone and Laura Sanderson'. In UnDoing, Manchester School of Architecture (MSA) Press.

Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., 2017. 'Oddments and Epigrams : The Neighbourhood Planning Agenda in Bollington.'. In Housing - A Critical Perspective.

Stone, SH., Sanderson, L., 2017. 'Trouble in Happy Valley: The Documentation of a Research Through Design Collaborative Project between a Postgraduate Atelier at the Manchester School of Architecture and the Local Community of a Small Town.'. In 10 EAAE-ARCC International Conference (EAAE-ARCC 2016), EAAE.


Stone, SH., Sanderson, L., Lee, SJ., 2017. 'Reclaiming the Road: Public Realm Improvement Proposals for Bollington in Cheshire'.

Conference Papers

Jolley, VS., Sanderson, L., 2017. 'Events // A Decade of Student Led Collaborative Projects', AAE Conference 2017: Architecture Connects, Oxford Brookes University, 6/9/2017 - 9/9/2017, in, pp. 117-125.

Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., 2017. 'The Way We Live Now : How Architectural Education can support the Urban Development of Small Settlements', AMPS, Derby, 22/6/2017 - 23/6/2017.

Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., 2016. 'Trouble in Happy Valley: The Documentation of a Research Through Design Collaborative Project between a Postgraduate Atelier at the Manchester School of Architecture and the Local Community of a Small Town.', EAAE ARCC, Lisbon, 14/6/2016 - 18/6/2016.

Sanderson, L., Aston, H., 2012. 'Atelier[zero] Negotiated Dialogues', The Production of Place, University of East London.

Sanderson, L., 2012. 'Delicate Interpretations', Cite Margins City Memories, Bangor.


Hanley, AL., Jolley, V., Sanderson, L., Coucill, L., Robertson, J., Sobell, HB., 2020. 'MAP Manchester Architecture Papers'.

Other Outputs

Sanderson, L., Stone, S., 2019. 'UnDoing Buildings Tour'.

Stone, SH., Sanderson, LM., Lee, SJ., 2017. 'The Way We Live Now : Symposium'.

Sanderson, L., Stone, SH., Lee, SJ., 2016. 'Time and Context'.

Sanderson, L., 2014. 'Sinister Dialogues'.

Stone, SH., Lee, SJ., Sanderson, L., 2014. 'Symposium : Contextualism Dead or Alive'.