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Professor Oriel Prizeman MA (Cantab) AADip PhD (Cantab)

Professor Oriel Prizeman

MA (Cantab) AADip PhD (Cantab)

Personal Chair

+44 (0)29 2087 5967
Room 1.39, Bute Building, King Edward VII Avenue, Cardiff, CF10 3NB
Available for postgraduate supervision



I am the Director of Postgraduate Research Studies at WSA and was founder of the MSc Sustainable Building Conservation. I am currently Principal Investigator for the AHRC funded project: Shelf Life: Re-imagining the Future of Carnegie Public Libraries and Co-Investigator for Professor Adam Hardy’s AHRC funded project: Tamil Temple Towns; Conservation and Contestation. I am co-chair of the Heritage and Conservation Research Group.


I took my first degree and PhD at the University of Cambridge and my Diploma and RIBA part 3 at the Architectural Association. I worked at Branson Coates Architecture and Michael Hopkins and partners as a student. I set up my own practice in Cambridge in 1996 as a sole practitioner specialising in the repair and adaptation of listed houses, completing 28 built projects. I taught design studios intermittently at the University of East London, the University of Cambridge and at the Royal College of Art.

In 2006 I was awarded an AHRC PhD studentship under a project led by Prof Koen Steemers and Mary Ann Steane at the Martin Centre in the Faculty of Architecture and History of Art at Cambridge. I completed this in 2010 and returned to practice. My first book, Philanthropy and Light was published in 2012 and is based on my thesis. I was appointed Director of Studies for Architecture at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge in 2011 and then moved to Cardiff in 2012 to take up a full time academic post.

Through the MSc Sustainable Building Conservation which I set up at Cardiff in 2013, I have established ERASMUS collaborations with the Conservation Masters programmes at Roma Tre University, Politecnico di Milano and the National Technical University of Athens. 

Honours and awards

2006                AHRC PhD studentship University of Cambridge, under “Designing with Light in Libraries”  led by Prof Koen Steemers and Mary Ann Steane

1993                Scholarship to the Architectural Association

Awards in Practice (Oriel Prizeman Ltd):

2010         Cambridge City Council David Urwin Sustainability award shortlisted: 19 Newton Road for Cambridge City Council 

2009         RIBA East “Spirit of ingenuity” Shortlisted: 15 Latham Road / Design award

2005         RIBA East “Spirit of ingenuity” Shortlisted “Ship in a Bottle 11 Grange Road / Design award

2003         RIBA East “Spirit of ingenuity” 2003 Runner up: English Heritage conservation award – Manor Cottage Haslingfield

Professional memberships

SPAB         Member since 1996 

ICOMOS    Member since 2009

SAHA         Member Society Architectural Historians of America since 2009

CIPA          Since 2013 

2016-20      RIBA Accredited Specialist Conservation Architect

2011-16      RIBA Accredited Conservation Architect

1999-2020  RIBA Chartered Member and ARB Registrant


Academic positions

2012- present Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University Professor, (previously Senior Lecturer then Reader), Director of Postgraduate Research Studies, Course Leader and developer: MSc Sustainable Building Conservation course IHBC accredited & RIBA approved, launched Sept 2013

2011-12 University of Cambridge Gonville & Caius College: Director of Studies: Architecture

2005-2006, &1996-8 University of Cambridge: Architecture 1st year tutor

2002-2005 Royal College of Art MA Architecture and Interiors: Studio Master ADS1

1996-2000 University of East London Dept of Architecture: Senior Lecturer Diploma / BSc

Speaking engagements

2017. Rakhigarhi: Centre for Art and Archaeology Delhi INTACH (Haryana chapter) 18 February 2017

2015. Pubilc philanthropy: access not ownership. Presented at: Does this bridge belong to you?, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, 22 May 2015.

2014. Seeing and being seen: the radiant languages of public libraries. Presented at: Central Saint Martins Informal Exchange: 'Housing Information', Swiss Cottage Library, London, UK, 17 September 2014.

2011. Working with the Conservation Framework in Cambridge, England: A practitioner's view. Presented at British Council: Identity and spirit of Old Tbilisi, Tbilisi, Georgia, 19 April - 2 May 2011.

Committees and reviewing

2017  ICOMOS Expert reviewer for the UNESCO world heritage panel

2017 Invited participant at both the Newton-Ungku Omar Fund: Heritage Refurbishment Assessment Scheme (HeRAS), Penang Malaysia  

2017 Newton-Baba Fund ICHR, AHRC UK-India Workshop on Cultural Heritage and Rapid Urbanisation in India. 

2016-18 elected board member for the the North America based Association for Preservation Technology  

2017+19 Scientific Panel of CIPA symposiumI

2015 Consultee to the Welsh Government Sectoral Adaptation Plan Climate Change and Cultural Heritage

2013 + 2020 RSAW awards judge

2013-14 Expert advisor to the Heritage Lottery Fund's Grants for Places of Worship Wales scheme

2014 cited in DCMS Farrell Review

2011 Heritage Working Group: Cambridge Past Present and Future

Peer reviewer (Journals)

Heritage (MDPI)

ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information 

Journal of Sustainable Cultural Heritage Management 

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation 

Advances in Geosciences (ADGEO) 

Journal of Architectural Conservation 

Architectural Research Quarterly 

Libraries: Culture, History, and Society 

Urban Studies 

Association of Preservation Technologists Bulletin

Peer review (Books)

Book reviewer: Journal of Architectural Conservation, Architectural Review

Book proposal reviewer: Ashgate, RIBA Publications, Routledge


-2021 Editorial Board Member: Conservation (MDPI) 

2017 Advisory Board: Invisible Architecture: Inside the Great War Boundaries: Memories and Remebrances, Traces and Abscences. Ed Olivia Longo (Universtta degli Studi di Brescia 2017)















Teaching profile

I currently lead the MArch XVIII studio "Lost Properties" at WSA. I was previously course founder and director for the MSc Sustainable Building Conservation at WSA from 2012 -2019.

From 2014-18 I acted as external examiner to the Department of Archaeology, University of York, MA in Conservation Studies and MA in Conservation Studies (Historic Buildings) and MA in the Archaeology of Buildings 2014-18 and to the Conservation of the Historic Environment MA/PGDip at Birmingham City University.

I started teaching at the University of Cambridge (First Year with Tom Holbrook, Mel Dodd and Oliver Smith) and the University of East London (Diploma with Peter Salter) in 1996. I later led ADS1 at the Royal College of Art MA Architecture and Interiors (with Diana Cochrane) from 2003-5. In 2011 I was appointed Director of Studies for Architecture at Gonville and Caius College Cambridge.

My research focuses on environmental histories and the development of digital tools for conservation which is informed by my own experience as a Conservation Architect in practice.

My monograph: Philanthropy and Light: "Carnegie Libraries and the Advent of Transatlantic Standards for Public Space" is now available as an e-book: My edited book: “Sustainable Building Conservation: Theory and Practice of Responsive Design in the Heritage Environment” is available through RIBA publications.

Research projects


  • Historic Buildings and their Environments
  • Building Conservation
  • Library Buildings and Public Spaces
  • Digital Tools for Conservation
  • Digital Modelling of Historic Environments

Current supervision

Hilary Wyatt

Hilary Wyatt

Research student

Lui Tam

Lui Tam

Research student

Ahmed Taher

Ahmed Taher

Research student

Baraah Muqaddam

Research student

Past projects

Successful completed theses as first supervisor:

2015 Dr Samuel Woodford: Preconception to participation: young people's experience of public library architecture

2018 Dr Christopher Whitman: The Distribution of Historic Timber-Framed Buildings in the UK and Their Low Energy Retrofit

2018 Dr Lama Bilal Abahussan: Screen Architecture: A Phenomenology of Dread Atmospheres in Thriller Films