Peter de Bretteville Architect

Architecture must be specific to its context. Whether the situation is urban or rural, it must transform the order of the place to a heightened degree of physical presence. Every structure of whatever scale is an addition to a particular and unique context and cannot be understood in isolation.

Architecture must embody, in the fullest sense, the practical and functional intent of the program. It must also express, in the most explicit terms, the symbolic and intangible qualities of the institution it represents. These qualities must be directly experienced and legible in a hierarchical or relative manner.

Architecture must be expressed in terms of technologies appropriate to the time and place. The means of construction and environmental control must be developed through design to allow the communication of ideas and feelings that transcend technology. Architecture must reveal the present information by an understanding of the past while suggesting the future. It is based on experience, memory, and history which establish both the principles and the elements that must be understood, expressed, and built to become an integral and meaningful aspect of the place and living culture.


• Yale University, B.A. 1963
• Masters degree Yale University School of Architecture
• Founder and principle of Peter de Bretteville Architect
• Worked in the office of Giancarlo De Carlo in Milan, Italy ( restoration of Teatro Sanzo in Urbino and a paper factory for an Italian subsidiary of the Container Corporation of America)
• Co-founded the partnership WORKS
• Taught at the California Institute of Arts 1970-1973, at UCLA 1973-1976, and at USC 1976-1990.
• Visiting critic in Architectural Design at the Yale University of Architecture since 1990.
• Recent work is featured in two new books on architecture and planning, The New Urbanism and Los Angeles the Current Condition.
• Contributing essayist
• Editorial board of Industrial Heritage Project