Peter Braithwaite

principal + architect

Peter was born in Windsor, Ontario, and spent part of his early childhood living in South Africa. In 2000, Peter moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he completed a Bachelor of Arts at the University of British Columbia. It was in Vancouver that Peter honed his skills as a carpenter and cabinet maker.

In 2007, Peter moved to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to complete a Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies and a Master of Architecture at Dalhousie University. Upon graduation, he received the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Student Medal for achieving the highest level of academic excellence in his graduating class. Peter was also awarded a Rosetti travel Scholarship to conduct studies pertaining to his thesis.

During his studies, Peter gained valuable experience working with MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited, and had the opportunity to contribute to a number of exciting projects such as the Fallingwater On-Site Cottage Competition and the Two Hulls house.

Upon graduation, Peter took a leadership position with Omar Gandhi Architect and acted as the Project Manager for a number of award-winning projects, such as Black Gables, Harbour Heights Residence, Rabbit Snare Gorge Cabin, and the Cabot Cliffs Golf Course Clubhouse.

In 2014, Peter established Peter Braithwaite Studio that aims to achieve excellence in both design and craftsmanship. With an appreciation for the benefits of maintaining strong ties with the academic community, Peter began teaching at the Dalhousie School of Architecture as a sessional instructor in May 2015. Since this point Peter has taught both first year and second year design classes every year. 

Tom Lutes

operations manager + carpenter

Tom was raised in Rothesay, New Brunswick, where he was first introduced to construction as a labourer for Dora Construction. While working in commercial construction Tom realized his true admiration for building was founded in principles of traditional and custom craftsmanship. 

Tom left Rothesay to attend St. Francis Xavier University where he graduated with an undergraduate degree in Economics & Psychology with an Honours Thesis in Psychology, in 2014. Throughout his undergraduate degree, Tom spent his summers working in construction, where he found joy in all aspects of building from swinging a hammer to construction management. 

Upon graduating from St. FX, Tom moved to Halifax, where he completed a Masters Certificate in Project Management from St. Mary’s School of Executive & Professional Development in 2015. Tom is also attending a four-year carpentry apprenticeship program through Nova Scotia Community College and is scheduled to graduate with his Red Seal in March 2018.

To date, Tom’s proudest build, has been constructing his family cottage in New Brunswick. In creating a space that would bring joy to his family for years to come, Tom realized the meaning that comes from building beautiful things. With a passion for work reminiscent of a time when carpentry was about making meaningful craftsmanship, Tom is a natural fit for the Peter Braithwaite Studio team.


Jillian Ellis

designer + project coordinator
BEDS, MArch candidate 

Jillian was born and raised in Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia. She began her academic career at Mount Allison University where she studied in the Fine Arts Department with a specialization in sculpture and film photography. During her time at Mount Allison she was a member of the women’s varsity swim team and was an Academic All-Canadian. She spent her summers working in North Carolina as an ocean rescue lifeguard with Nags Head Fire and Rescue. During her time in North Carolina she gained an appreciation for vernacular coastal architecture in vulnerable coastal areas. 

Jillian was admitted into the architectural program at Dalhousie University during her third year of studies at Mount Allison University. She graduated from the Dalhousie School of Architecture with a Bachelors of Environmental Design Studies in 2017 and started her masters degree the same year. Following the completion of her thesis work, Jillian is expected to graduate in May of 2019 with a Masters of Architecture degree.

Drawing on her previous knowledge and interest in metal work and carpentry, that she gained during her studies at Mount Allison, Jillian found interest in the ethos of Peter Braithwaite Studio that emphasizes a strong collaboration between the craft and design.

Since beginning her work term with Peter Braithwaite Studio, Jillian has been involved in a number of interesting projects that have aided in the expansion of her knowledge and interests in the architecture field.

Ben BIggley

site foreman + project manager

In 2004, Ben accepted a mentorship position with a notable finish carpenter. This partnership flourished into a strong working relationship and the pair worked together on various prestigious commercial and multi-unit residential projects, including Lakeshore Three, in the Okanagan Valley, and Stones Throw on Sunpeaks Mountain, in Kamloops, British Columbia. 

In 2009, Ben returned to Ontario to establish his own construction company. He began to work and collaborate with highly established millwork fabricators and installers. Further opportunities led Ben to work with Beaubois Masters of Architectural Woodwork, and Ellis Don. 

Ben moved to Halifax in 2014, to take on the leadership position of Project Manager with his long time family friend, Peter Braithwaite, of Peter Braithwaite Studio. 


John Marshall

project manager + designer                               BEDS, MArch

Born in Hampton, New Brunswick, and raised on his family cattle farm, John grew up tending to animals, building barns, and repairing fences.  In 2001, John moved to Fredericton, New Brunswick, where he completed a certificate in Film Production at the University of New Brunswick.  After finishing his certificate, he returned to the Saint John area and worked as a Director of an International Short Film Festival, before moving on to work as a Gallery Coordinator for Third Space Gallery.

During this time John continued to grow the family farm, and with a love of woodworking and construction, he renovated an old timber frame barn into a wood shop and carving studio. John then moved to Halifax, where he completed a Bachelor in Environmental Studies and a Masters in Architecture from the Dalhousie School of Architecture.

While attending the Dalhousie Architecture program John focused on developing hands-on design and build experience. John completed a work term and design studio with Coastal Studio, and upon graduation he contributed to a Grid-shell research project in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Throughout his studies in the Masters of Architecture program, John drew on his agricultural background, and concentrated his studies in the area of Urban Agriculture.

Shortly after graduating with his Masters in Architecture, John joined Peter Braithwaite Studio.  Drawing from his diverse background, John works as a Project Manager, coordinating the architectural vision of each project through to the final act of construction.


Ryan McNeill

site foreman + project manager + carpenter

A Dartmouth native, Ryan’s love for carpentry started at a young age, where he learned the craft of woodworking from his grandfather. 

As Ryan grew, his dedication to creating beautiful things continued and in 2009, Ryan attended Holland College for Photography, Digital Imaging & Design. Upon graduating in 2011, Ryan moved to Toronto where he worked as a Production Assistant for Westside and Dermot Clearly Studios. 

In 2014, Ryan’s passion for woodwork drew him back to Holland College where he earned a certificate in Heritage Retrofit Carpentry. Upon graduation Ryan worked as a carpenter for Forbes Heritage Restoration, before taking on the role of Assistant Project Manager and Carpenter for Sealand Freezers.

Ryan prides himself on building unique, comfortable, spaces that feed the people that live within them. Ryan’s versatile background in heritage, commercial, and modern carpentry, as well as his strong eye for aesthetics from his work in photography, contributes to his keen abilities as a Project Manager at Peter Braithwaite Studio.


Matt Gillingham

student designer
Dip. Mus, B. Mus., BEDS (April 2018)

Matt was born in Edmonton, Alberta, and spent his childhood in Rocky Mountain House, exploring the beautiful foothills landscape. Matt moved back to Edmonton in 2003, where he worked in landscaping and construction during his high school summers.

Matt began his early working career as a professional drummer. He began his academic studies at McEwan University in 2010, and graduated with a Diploma and Bachelor Degree in Jazz and Contemporary music in 2015, as a drum set performance major. 

Upon graduation, Matt moved to Hungary with his wife, before returning to Canada to attend Dalhousie University’s Bachelor of Environmental Design program. Matt’s deep interest in concert hall design inspired his path towards a career in architecture, and Matt eagerly began his studies at the Dalhousie School of Architecture in the fall of 2016. Matt is currently in on his first work term and expecting to graduate from Dalhousie in May 2017. 

Matt is excited for the opportunity to work alongside Peter who was both his teacher and mentor at Dalhousie University. Matt’s artistic background brings a unique multi-disciplinary approach to design to the office, and his passion for integrated design aligns harmoniously with Peter Braithwaite Studio’s design principles.