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Peter Yates Print Shop
Peter Yates artist sketches on Snowdonia 1940
Peter Yates Snowdonia, c.1943

Peter Yates 19 July 1920 – 16 November 1982, was a British born artist and architect. He was a founder partner (alongside Gordon Ryder) of the architectural company Ryder and Yates, based in the North East of England. [ref 1]

Early life and education

Peter Yates was born in Leytonstone, East London in 1920. In 1925, at the age of five, he won a painting competition in 
Chicks' Own. [ref 2] He attended Wanstead School from September 1934 to July 1936 and painted a mural at the school called  'Events at Sea'.

In 1937 he worked as a model and furniture maker. Model bungalows he built were shown at the April 1937 Ideal Home Exhibition. From January 1938 until April 1941, Peter attended the Regent Street Polytechnic, studying architecture under 
Sir Hubert Bennett and Peter Moro.

World War Two

Peter Yates served as a volunteer fireman on the St Paul's Watch during the London Blitz in early 1941, during which he painted Wren's churches. While drawing in Ludgate Circus, he met the antiquary and architectural historian, Gerald Cobb, and they became lifelong friends.

On 19 July 1941 (his 21st birthday) Peter Yates joined the RAF.  Serving ground duty, he was stationed in Wales and Ireland.  In 1944 he traveled to Versailles with the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Forces to establish a radar transmitting station. Peter Yates was in Paris in early 1945, where he met many artists and writers, including George Braque [ref 3]Édouard PignonJaime SabartesJuliette GrecoLeon GischiaGertrude SteinAlice ToklasAndre L'HoteSylvia Beach and Le Corbusier.

St Pauls Cathedral Peter Yates c 1940
St Paul’s Cathedral, Peter Yates ©1943

Early Architectural Practice

Whilst the war had curtailed his architectural studies, it's ending opened up new opportunities. These included:

An enthusiastic invitation from Le Corbusier to work with him on plans for a new 
UNO building in New York. [ref 4]
Designing the Pyramid Project for the 
New Crystal Palace with Clive Entwistle at Ove Arup's office, Soho 1947. [ref 5]
A member of the Masterplan team for 
Peterlee new town with Berthold Lubetkin in 1948 (where Peter Yates first met Gordon Ryder). [ref 6]
In 1950, Peter returned to Paris as Chief Designer at 
Unité d’Informations Visuelles [ref 7], a commercial art studio located in the Old Alhambra night club in the gardens of the Champs Élysées. From here, Peter worked on new exhibitions across Europe. These included Europa Zug [ref 8] and Atoms for Peace. (this included collaboration with Pierre Boucher, from whom Ryder and Yates later commissioned murals for Norgas House, Killingworth).

Salvation Army 2 Mens Palace Newcastle Ryder and YatesERS 2 Killingworth Ryder and Yatesryder and yates amberly house killingworth
Ryder and Yates: Salvation Army ‘Men’s Palace’, 1974. Engineering Research Station, 1967. Amberly House, 1967.

Key Influences

Peter's main influences were Le Corbusier and Berthold Lubetkin. Others were inspired by his friendships, for example with Austin WrightKenneth Rowntree and Diana RowntreeDennis Flanders.
Peter Yates nominated and successfully campaigned for Berthold Lubetkin to be awarded the 
Royal Gold Medal for Architecture, which came to fruition in 1982.
In 1976, Peter Yates arranged and curated an exhibition of Le Corbusier drawings and lithographs at the 
Ferens Art Gallery, Hull arranged to coincide with the 1976 RIBA Conference, which was held in Hull.

Personal Life

In 1958 Peter Yates married musician Helen Maud Southgate from Otaki, New Zealand. They had five children. Helen died in 1972.
In 1976, Peter married his second wife Gillian Jessica Eden. Gilly died in 2015.
Peter Yates died in 1982.

If you have no business here KEEP OUT Peter YatesCod and Lobster Pots Painting by Peter YatesPeter Yates painting Boscastle 1956
Swan Yard Thaxted, Peter Yates ©1953, Cod and Lobster Pots Staithes, Peter Yates ©1955, Boscastle, Peter Yates ©1956

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