Hugh Conway Morris

Architect, Oak Framer, Lime Burner, Cob Builder

BA(Hons)  MArch  RIBA  AABC  SPAB Lethaby Scholar

Hugh is a principal architect, craftsman and director of Manifest, and has run the practice since founding it in 2009. Hugh studied architecture at the University of Sheffield. Following graduation, he worked as both designer and carpenter for the Kós Károly Association in Hungary and Transylvania (Romania), also working as project manager for the Opre Roma Community building group in Debrecen, eastern Hungary.

Having returned to England, Hugh developed his expertise in the conservation of historic buildings, already inspired by the living traditions of Romania and Hungary. Working first in Bath, then on the prestigious Lethaby Scholarship sponsored by the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB), he took up positions in Oxfordshire and Berkshire for conservation specialists Nick Cox and Peter McCurdy, again as both carpenter and architect.

Hugh is now a very active member of the SPAB, sitting on and reporting to committees and carrying out casework, as well as acting as visiting specialist in timber conservation and lime burning at the Society’s annual working parties. He also staffs their technical advice line as an advisor. He is registered with the Architects Accredited in Building Conservation (AABC), and sits on the Fabric Advisory Committee for the University Church of Oxford, St Mary the Virgin.

Hugh’s love of material, and timber especially, has also led to his membership of the Carpenters’ Fellowship, the British Woodcarvers’ Association, and the Oxfordshire Woodland Group. Hugh’s position at Manifest enables him to pursue his passion for the revelation of the built form through context – community, natural and spiritual – to engage through real materials with real people in the world, and to bring into being beautiful, meaningful and sustainable buildings.

Key Skills

  • Practical knowledge of traditional building construction through work “on the tools”, as a professional oak-framer, lime-burner and cob builder.
  • Surveys and inspections of a wide range of historic buildings and structures.
  • Architectural design and work in historic contexts.
  • Sensitive retro-fit of vulnerable heritage buildings.
  • Preparation of heritage reports and impact assessments, as well as listed building consent applications and contract management.
  • Rigorous understanding of technical conservation detailing, including sourcing of appropriate materials.

Special Interests

  • The English & Welsh traditions in oak framing.
  • Localised lime production and sourcing.
  • Earth construction and light-straw-clay.
  • The use of traditional materials in assuring a low-carbon future.
  • The mathematics of medieval architecture.
  • The relation between architecture, sustainability and theology.
  • Understanding the British landscape through long-distance walking and freehand drawing.
  • Natural living, star-gazing and foraged foods.

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