Peter Elliott Obituary, Death – There is no other relationship that can compare to the one that an architect shares with our structural engineer in terms of the degree to which it is personal or significant. Peter has the enormous, clumsy fingers of an engineer, the kind that are able to pry open and repair the tiniest and most intricate devices. In addition, Peter was a well-rounded man because he had worked on a farm and led roughneck offshore diving teams on the rigs.
This demonstrated his versatility. His profession was construction and repair, and he had an engineer’s intrinsic fascination with how things worked and how they were put together; in fact, he is infamous for having been caught, at the age of three, disassembling live electrical equipment. His enthusiasm for how things worked and how they were put together was his trade.
It was a blessing and a relief to be able to negotiate Peter into the position of structural engineer because in a world where another structural engineer could examine a historic building and tell me that, despite the fact that it had been standing for hundreds of years and could, with care, last hundreds more, his calculations showed that it couldn’t and shouldn’t stand up, it was a blessing and a relief to be able to work with Peter. He had a passion for historic structures.
He read and understood a building better than anybody else I knew, detected the hints better than anyone else I knew, and pulled out the structural logic better than anyone else I knew. In addition to this, he had an understanding of what was going through the minds of the people who were designing the edifice. He wanted to demonstrate appreciation for the honesty and skill that went into making it by restoring it and finding new uses for it, and he did this by finding new applications for it.