Why create a website?

This was the question I asked myself when I first started to be interested in web-design and creating a ‘web-presence’. This process started way back in the Year 2000, during my first stint at university as a Part 1 student at Manchester University’s School of Architecture. Curiosity is the answer but it developed quickly into a method of keeping in touch with people (via the Forum) before the use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the whole slew of social media available to us today. It has eventually ended up as a record of my professional and personal life and has been very rewarding.

Our history

The site started as a project called melshimber.org.uk and was never published (until now). The first published version of this site was uploaded to a domain www.michaelriley.org.uk (now lapsed) and was laboriously created using HTML code and Adobe ‘Dreamweaver’. Following this first publication there have been four major versions of the site to-date and several different domains, thankfully Versions 3 and 4 were created with a programme called iWeb which was developed by Apple; A very versatile programme, it has helped amateur web site owners for a long time before being culled in 2011. I have continued with an old version of iWeb for many years but now felt the need to update this site using modern ‘responsive’ technologies. This is mainly to deal with mobile computing and give me the ability to update the site on the move. And so, Version 5 was born.

Version 5, which has been dubbed V5 – The Great CMS Experiment, is powered by WordPress, Pinnacle Theme by Kadence Themes and is hosted on 1and1. This final choice of Content Management Software (CMS) software has been a while in the making and testing, I also tested Concrete 5, Joomla and Drupal. I also considered using Square Space based on their slick website and recommendations by ‘Hellen and Ollie’ from the Answer Me This podcast. Square Space would have been a good choice if I wasn’t also hosting a number of sites on my webhosting service.

Current projects

Although the website has now been launched I have only uploaded a small selection of the projects and events which were shown on Version 4, content will be restored in the coming months.

I also have a number of other web-projects as follows,

The archive

The links below will take you to archived versions of the site re-hosted on rileyuk.

Version 0 Prelude

Version 1 Bluebird

Version 2 Flos

Version 3 Pomme

Version 4 Simples


2008   Building Design Partnership

2005   arca Architects

2002   Michael Riley

2002   Pozzoni Design Group

1997   Anthony Grimshaw Architects

Professional Memberships

Royal Institute of British Architects    RIBA

Architect’s Registration Board    ARB

Passivhaus Certified Designer

Association of Project Safety

RIBA Part III Examiner

2016   The Bartlett, UCL

2016   RIBA North West

2013   London Metropolitan University


2022   Certified PassivHaus Designer

2006   Diploma in Professional Practice (Distinction)

2005   B(Arch) Manchester

2002   BA(Hons) Manchester (2:1)


2019   Manchester Met Institute of Sport

2018   Manchester Met Science & Engineering

2018   Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal

2018   Northern Estates Project

2018   Ground Transport Interchange Building

2017   Manchester Metrolink T2 Western Loop

2017   Halifax Station

2017   Middlesbrough Station

2016   East West Rail 2 (Winslow & Bletchley Stations)

2015   Northern Hub Electrification (Picadilly & Oxford Rd)

2015   Northern Hub Electrification (Ordsall Chord)

2013   Old Town Hall, Oldham

2013   Lancashire County Cricket Club – Grandstands

2012   Lancashire County Cricket Club – Pavilion

2011   Sutton Scarsdale Hall

2009   Abraham Darby Sports and Learning Community

2008   Culcheth High School

2008   Hollybank House

2007   Cornerhouse

2007   Greengate Hotel

2006   Silver Cafe, Morecambe

2006   Euston Road, Morecambe

2006   Tate Liverpool

2005   West End Road Apartments

2005   Gun Street, Ancoats

2002   Manchester University Part II

1999   Manchester University Part I