Peter Preston

Director and Architect

BA (Hons) DipArch MSc (Timber Building Conservation) RIBA

Peter studied architecture at Liverpool John Moores and Oxford Brookes Universities, graduating with a first and a merit respectively, before passing his professional exams in 2010. As a student Peter developed interests in vernacular architecture, historic building conservation and natural building materials, and how these can be integrated to foster a sense of place. This in turn led to an interest in architectural psychology – the way in which buildings shape and influence how we behave and feel, and the way in which we interact with each other.

Peter developed his expertise in conservation by taking up a position at Nick Cox Architects, where he worked on a variety of projects from nationally important Grade I listed buildings including Blenheim Palace, Woburn Abbey and Wells Cathedral, to more humble vernacular structures.

In 2015 Peter, studying under Richard Harris, gained his MSc in Timber Building Conservation from the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum in conjunction with the University of York, furthering his interests in this form of construction. His knowledge of the history and development of timber framing in England and Wales, along with his experience recording timber frames, underpins the practice’s extensive expertise in this area.

At Manifest, Peter continues to pursue these interests, inspired by his fascination with historic buildings to create a new architecture which is informed by the past, rooted in its cultural context and grounded in tradition, yet is relevant to our contemporary world in design and meaning.  This remit includes both the creative re-use and adaptation of old buildings, and the inspiration by their vernacular principles to build new structures that meet modern standards while lifting the human spirit above the mundane

He enjoys country walking (fell walking in particular), as well as swimming, cycling, art and choral singing. He is also interested in rural crafts and oral history. He is married to Sarah and they have three young children.

Key Skills

  • Experienced in carrying out fabric inspections on a wide variety of buildings and structures.
  • Experienced in preparing planning, listed building consent and building regulations applications as well as contract administration and project management.
  • Good understanding of conservation principles and repair techniques, in particular of stonework, gained through professional experience, and of timber, gained through Masters degree programme.
  • Good understanding of the principles and challenges of regeneration gained through diploma specialisation and through professional experience.
  • Good understanding of the principles and practical applications of ‘Designing out Crime’ and community involvement gained through studies in Architectural Psychology.
  • Practical knowledge of traditional building crafts and techniques developed through professional experience, University ‘Sustainable Construction Workshops’ and short courses.

Special Interests

  • Stonework, ironwork and timber conservation.
  • The history and development of monastic and cathedral buildings.
  • PassivHaus construction methods.
  • Non-Conformist chapel architecture (an often-overlooked architectural typology).

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