Professor Peter Skinner

Professor

School of Architecture
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
p.skinner@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 53849
0421 456 526

Overview

Professor Skinner is an experienced architect and architectural educator whose research work exists at the intersection of many aspects of architectural and urban design. A graduate of The University of Queensland, Skinner practiced as a registered architect with Russell Hall and Addison Associates and commenced his academic career in Tasmania before returning to UQ in 1990.

Skinner’s Master of Architecture by design research in 1995 analysed the development of his innovative timber constructional system within the framework of Critical regionalist theory and the longer history of Queensland architecture. Subsequent research papers have contributed to local architectural history, examined constructional and structural design, evaluated environmental design principles as they apply to architecture and urban design, and presented the outcomes of design pedagogy innovations. A recently completed research project within the CRC for Rail Innovation resulted in the publication (with Raymond Maher) of The Public Face of Rail: Australian Station Design Guidelines. Skinner is currently leading a project, D5.1 Examining Urban Intensification and Green Infrastructure within the CRC for Water Sensitive Cities.

The main focus of Skinner’s architectural research has been the creative design and critical review of architectural and urban projects. The St Lucia House, designed with Elizabeth Watson Brown, won the Robin Dods Award in 2000, and has been widely published in critical anthologies and reference works, including the Phaidon Atlas of World Architecture. Subsequent design competition entries and published and exhibited designs demonstrate the development of a design sensibility, often driven by the desire to respond to the particularities of the subtropical climate. Skinner contributes as a critic to Architecture Australia, Landscape Australia and Architecture Review Australia and is often asked to comment on architectural and urban design issues in South–East Queensland.

Skinner is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, past President of its Queensland Chapter and past member of the National Council of the AIA (2010-2012). He has a strong interest and knowledge of architectural practice across the state. In 2007, he was appointed State Jury Chair for the AIA Queensland Architecture Awards, reviewing 200 buildings and presenting awards and citations in eight regional and metropolitan presentations. Skinner was appointed Creative Director, with Michael Rayner and Shane Thompson, of the 2012 National Architecture Conference, Australia’s largest architectural conference .

Research Interests

  • Architectural Design
    Recent research has focussed on medium-density housing typologies and rail station design principles.
  • Urban Design
    Research projects have examined urban transport precincts, and the water sensitive design of residential neighbourhoods.
  • Environmental Design
    Projects focus on passive climatic design and solar geometry in architecture and urban planning with a special focus on the coastal subtropical Climate.
  • Architectural Construction
    Investigations and experiments explore timber construction materials and the prefabrication of housing assemblies.
  • Architectural History
    I continue to write on specific topics in the history of architecture in Queensland, particularly the contribution of regional architects.

Research Impacts

  • The St Lucia House was awarded the Queensland Robin Dods Award and national high commendation by the AIA (2000) and has been extensively published internationally, including in the landmark Phaidon Atlas of World Architecture (2004). It is included In in the AIA listing of Nationally Significant Twentieth Century Residential Architecture (one of 74 nationally, and one of only 17 from Queensland). Its exhibition and publication has contributed to the development of a regional modernist residential architecture in Queensland.
  • Sustained personal public design advocacy and critique of the Brookfield Multiplex North Bank scheme led to the State Government abandoning this formerly approved $1.7 billion project in 2008, thankfully prior to the 2011 Brisbane river floods.
  • Design illustration and advocacy of a bus-only green bridge with a drop-off and return was influential in winning UQ and BCC support for the $55 million Eleanor Schonell Bridge (2003)
  • Leadership of the AIA’s 2011 Brisbane River Flood response program led to the Flood of Ideas project (2011-13) a successful public resource that has been recognised by industry awards to project partner: the 2013 Qld AILA Medal to Lat 27.
  • In 2012 , with Michael Rayner and Shane Thompson, Peter Skinner was Creative Director for the largest Architectural Conference held in Australia, advancing discussion of the 'experience' of architecture to over 2,000 delegates.
  • Australian Rail Station Design Guidelines have been published by the CRC for Rail Innovation and presented in workshops around the nation.

Qualifications

  • Master of Architecture, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Architecture (Honours), The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Design Studies, The University of Queensland

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • A proposed change to the Brisbane City Plan encourages taller house forms which can have significant environmental benefits if appropriately oriented, including smaller building footprints, greater garden area, improved groundwater permeability, and the urban cooling associated with increased vegetation. To be successful, new constructional paradigms are needed to overcome the impediments to taller construction posed by currently restrictive workplace health and safety regulations.

  • Despite millenia of knowledge regarding the importance of solar orientation to thermal comfort in housing, most new South-East Queensland suburbs are identified by thermally inappropriate house forms and unsatisfactory street orientations. Through thermal modelling, the energy impacts of best case and worst case examples of house forms, and best case and worst case street orientations can be quantified to calculate the economic and environmental cost of poor design and to demonstrate the benefits of best case urban housing models.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book

Book Chapter

  • Skinner, Peter R. (2012). Geoffrey Pie. In Philip Goad and Julie Willis (Ed.), Encyclopaedia of Australian Architecture (pp. 542-542) Port Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

  • Skinner, Peter R. (2012). Russell Hall. In Philip Goad and Julie Willis (Ed.), The encyclopedia of Australian architecture (pp. 309-309) Port Melbourne, VIC, Australia: Cambridge University Press.

  • Skinner, P. R. and Watson-Brown, E. (2004). St Lucia House. In Virginia McLeod (Ed.), The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture (pp. 25-25) London ; New York: Phaidon.

  • Skinner, Peter and Watson-Brown, Elizabeth (2003). St Lucia House. In Subtropical housing; new millennium architecture of South East Queensland (pp. 1-42) Brisbane, Qld, Australia: Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

  • Skinner, Peter R. and Watson-Brown, E (2003). St Lucia House. In Geoffrey London (Ed.), Houses for the 21st Century (pp. 52, 196-53, 199) Balmain, NSW, Australia: Pesaro.

  • Skinner, P. R. and Watson-Brown, E. (2003). Tropical Treehouse. In John Gollings and George Michell (Ed.), Inner City Living : New Australia Style 2 (pp. 162-165) London: Thames & Hudson.

  • Skinner, Peter R. and Watson-Brown, Elizabeth (2001). St Lucia House. In Patrick Bingham-Hall, Philip Goad and Michael Keniger (Ed.), A Short History of Brisbane Architecture: including Ipswich and the Sunshine Coast (pp. 111-111) Balmain, N.S.W.: Pesaro Publishing.

  • Skinner, P. R. (1998). Queensland domestic architecture: Roots and branches. In Degrees of latitude (pp. 1-5) Brisbane, Australia: Brisbane City Gallery.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Skinner, Peter (2013). An inside edge: urban infill potential within the suburban flood plain. In: Hisham Elkadi, Leilei Xu and James Coulson, Architecture @ the Edge: Proceedings of the 2011 International Conference of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia. AASA-2011: Architecture @ the Edge. 6th International Conference of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, Geelong, VIC, Australia, (33-42). 18-21 September 2011.

  • Skinner, Peter and Webster-Mannison, Marci (2013). Designing urban cool pools. In: 8th International Water Sensitive Urban Design Conference 2013: WSUD 2013. Full Papers: Peer Review. WSUD 2013: 8th International Water Sensitive Urban Design Conference, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, (81-86). 25-29 November, 2013.

  • Hoban, Alan, Thompson, Damian, Skinner, Peter, Duell, Christian, Grant, Jason and O'Neill, Andrew (2013). Flood of ideas. In: WSUD 2013: 8th International Water Sensitive Urban Design Conference. Abstracts. WSUD 2013: 8th International Water Sensitive Urban Design Conference, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, (19-19). 25-29 November, 2013.

  • Skinner, Peter (2013). Opportunities for resilience, density and affordability in the flood sensitive city. In: The 4th International Urban Design Conference 2011, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia, (). 21-23 September 2011.

  • Thompson, Shane, Skinner, Peter and Rayner, Michael (2012). Experience. In: Experience: 2012 National Architecture Conference, Brisbane, QLD, Australia, (). 10-12 May, 2012.

  • Maher, Raymond and Skinner, Peter R. (2011). An architect's view of the station user experience. In: Peter Tisato, Lindsay Oxland and Michael Taylor, Australasian Transport Research Forum 2011 Proceedings, PATREC. 34th Australasian Transport Research Forum 2011, Adelaide, SA, Australia, (1-18). 28-30 September 2011.

  • Maher, Ray and Skinner, Peter (2010). South East Queensland's projected population and its environmental footprint. In: Proceedings of the 44th Conference of the Architectural Science Association, ANZAScA 2010. 44th Annual Conference of the Architectural Science Association, ANZAScA, Auckland, New Zealand, (1-10). 24-26 November 2010.

  • Skinner, Peter R., Watson-Brown, Elizabeth and Wright, Amalie (2008). ROHO: Subtropical row-house. In: Subtropical Cities 2008 Conference. From faultlines to sight lines: Subtropical urbanism in 20-20, Brisbane, Australia, (). 3-6 September 2008.

  • Skinner, Peter R. (2006). Rainbow houses. In: Simon Whibley and Diego Ramirez, Proceedings of: Rehousing: U A L International Housing Conference. Rehousing: U A L International Housing Conference, Melbourne, Australia, (130-134). 5-8 October 2006.

  • Skinner, Peter R. and Hughes, Clair (2005). Interwoven Curriculum Design for First Year Learning. In: Holt-Damant, Kathi and Sanders, Paul, Drawing Together: Convergent practises in architectural education. Refereed proceedings.. Third International Conference of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia (AASA), Brisbane, (1-10). 28-30 September, 2005.

  • Skinner, Peter R. (2005). National Police Memorial. In: MarvelS: Architecture Unbuilt, Architectural Practice Academy, Brisbane, Australia, (). 31 October-11 November 2005.

  • Skinner, Peter R. (2003). Reflections on inside-outside space. In: Clare Newton, Sandra Kaji-O'Grady and Simon Wollan, Design + Research: Project Based Research in Architecture. Second International Conference of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, Melbourne 28-30 September 2003. Design + Research: Project Based Research in Architecture. Second International Conference of the Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, Melbourne, Australia, (1-11). 28-30 September 2003.

  • Skinner, P. R. (2002). Hiron St house - structured interplay of building and setting. In: D. W. Neale and A. Moulis, Architecture interacting : Department of Architecture, University of Queensland Summer Symposium 2002. Architecture Interacting Summer Symposium, Point Lookout, North Stradbroke Island, Australia, (). 21-22 February 2002.

  • Skinner, P. R. (2000). Studio teaching in architecture. In: G. Isaacs, Effective Teaching and Learning at University: Effective Teaching Conference. Effective Teaching and Learning Conference 2000, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, (). 9 - 10 November 2000.

  • Skinner, P. R. (2000). Teaching construction: Building on design. In: G. Moore, Architecture + Education 2000. AASA International Conference, Sydney, (34). 26-27 Jun, 2000.

  • Skinner, P. R. (1998). A Queensland school: Firmness, commodity and delight in recent award-winning houses. In: J. Willis, P. Goad and A. Hutson, Papers from the fifteenth annual conference of the Society of Architectural Historians Australia and New Zealand. FIRM(ness) commodity DE-light?: questioning the canons. 15th Annual Conference of the Society of Architectural Historians, Australia and New Zealand, University of Melbourne, Australia, (). 28 September - 1 October, 1998.

  • Skinner, P. R. (1996). Braced portal housing: Buildability and structural testing. In: Vijaya K. A. Gopu, Proceedings of international wood engineering conference. International wood engineering conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, (374-381). 28-31 October,1996.

  • Skinner, P. R. and Keniger, M. D. (1996). Recent traditions: Architectural evolution in Northern Australia. In: Proceedings of Traditions and Modernity Conference. Contemporary architecture in Southeast Asia and beyond. Traditions and Modernity Conference. Contemporary architecture in Southeast Asia and beyond, Hotel International Le Meridien, Jakarta, Indonesia, (113-135). 9-11 December, 1996.

  • Skinner, P. R. (1994). Lightweight timber portal house design concepts. In: Jodie Wells, Proceedings of Pacific Timber Engineering Conference. Pacific Timber Engineering Conference, Gold Coast , Australia, (121-130). 11-15 July, 1994.

Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Master Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • A proposed change to the Brisbane City Plan encourages taller house forms which can have significant environmental benefits if appropriately oriented, including smaller building footprints, greater garden area, improved groundwater permeability, and the urban cooling associated with increased vegetation. To be successful, new constructional paradigms are needed to overcome the impediments to taller construction posed by currently restrictive workplace health and safety regulations.

  • Despite millenia of knowledge regarding the importance of solar orientation to thermal comfort in housing, most new South-East Queensland suburbs are identified by thermally inappropriate house forms and unsatisfactory street orientations. Through thermal modelling, the energy impacts of best case and worst case examples of house forms, and best case and worst case street orientations can be quantified to calculate the economic and environmental cost of poor design and to demonstrate the benefits of best case urban housing models.