MArch Columbia University, 1983
BA (Architectural and Urban History) Harvard University, 1978
Registered Architect: New York, retired associate status
The work of Associate Professor Peter Keyes examines the interfaces between housing, settlement patterns, building technology, and place. His research aims to effect concrete improvements in the built environment through documentation and analysis of existing conditions that lead to design principles which are then tested in design projects. He teaches design studios and courses in housing, place, and culture, in Eugene and in Portland where he was formerly the director of the urban architecture program.
Soon after his arrival at the University of Oregon Center for Housing Innovation in 1990, Keyes completed a study on more than 60 affordable housing projects throughout the country. He then collaborated with a graduate student to identify the needs and capabilities of community development corporations in producing affordable housing in Oregon. This work informed his design for a neighborhood of 44 low- to moderate-income, lease-to-own houses in West Eugene which incorporated a narrow-lot development pattern, traditional house forms, compact house plans designed for panelized construction, and a new public park. The project was awarded the Governor's Livability Award and a HUD Building Innovation for Homeownership Award in 1996.
More recently, Keyes has documented multi-family housing built along Portland’s streetcar lines in the early 20th century. The resulting survey of over 700 buildings focuses on how the housing types and infill patterns of this era can inform the higher density transit-oriented housing planned for Portland. Some of these principles became the foundation for a second-place entry by Keyes and three former students in the Portland Courtyard Housing Design Competition sponsored by Portland’s Bureau of Planning in 2007. Keyes has previously received recognition in Portland’s City Life Competition for a design of a prototypical affordable duplex.
Keyes is currently working on a study of the evolving urban form of the historic town of Coupeville, Washington, on Whidbey Island, by creating a computer model of the changing spatial aspects of the town with the goal of creating new development standards based on pre-existing patterns.
Before coming to the University of Oregon, Keyes was a senior associate at Steven Winter Associates, Inc., a leading energy, building systems, and sustainability research firm. He served as project architect on both research and residential design projects, including the Consortium for Advanced Residential Buildings (CARB), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. He served on ASHRAE Standards Committee 119-1988, which completed the national standard Air Leakage Performance for Detached Single-Family Residential Buildings. His design work has appeared in Architectural Record, Progressive Architecture, and Reweaving the Urban Fabric: Approaches to Infill Housing.