A bit about us

Living Space Architects is a chartered RIBA practice based in Exeter, Devon. Established in 2004, we have a passion for creating well-designed, imaginative and exciting projects that are both environmentally and socially sustainable.

By using local materials, maintaining an environmental approach, and designing and building in an innovative way that compliments the surroundings, we aim to keep the Southwest special.

Blog Posts

Big things expected from Living Space Architects after completing ‘BIM’ training

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This week, two of our architects attended a three day ‘Building Information Modelling’ (BIM) training session in Bristol, equipping them with the insight and tools to more efficiently design, construct and manage buildings and infrastructure. BIM is an intelligent 3D model-based process that uses innovative software to better quantify data and manage information and costs […]

Extending a small family home with simple techniques and impressive results

This project is the perfect example of a house that really has become a home. Jill and James McDowell came to us wanting to give their property in Earl Richards a contemporary revamp. Having been in the family for years, they were not prepared to part ways with their wonderful house, but realised it was […]

Design Award from Devon Historic Buildings Trust

Thinking about altering or extending a listed building? Read this first!

If you’re lucky enough to own a listed building, it’s likely that you’re already well aware that making adaptations to this object of national, historic or architectural value is no small feat. Listed building control is a type of planning control, which acts in addition to any other regulations that would normally apply. Acquiring planning […]

Feeling the chill? How we went about insulating a heritage home

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One thing about beautiful, historic houses is that they can often be really, really cold. As Brits, we are no strangers to wacking on the fire and arming ourselves with a fluffy socks and a hot water bottle, but what happens when this simply isn’t enough? When our client came to us with a brief […]

Western Morning News: A Labour of Love

Restoration of Listed Medieval Hall House, Dartmoor

Today saw the completion of one of our favourite ever projects – the restoration of Staddon House in Walkhampton on the edge of Dartmoor National Park.  Our clients, Sue & Geoff Edwards, bought Staddons back in 2014, and after a year negotiating planning consent and 14 months on site the building is now unrecognisable. When […]

Grand Designs: Country Curves

An English take on a German design: Stoke Poges

Our client came to us with the brief of creating a house with a similar feel to the award-winning German Huf Haus design. Creeping into the UK market, these timber and glass houses are generally two-storeys high with pitched roof separated at the gable. Typical features include terraces, canopies, roof lights and large windows…we were […]

Designing Homes For An Ageing Generation

Life expectancy among Britons is increasing exponentially and the proportion of the population over 65 years of age is expected to rise from five percent in 1950 to 16 percent in 2015. Scientists are predicting an explosion of dementia cases, expected to almost triple by 2050 to over 115 million. The majority of people with […]

Could Garden Cities be the solution to the UK Housing Crisis?

Does the UK’s Housing Crisis ever seem to slow? The UK’s shortage of affordable, decent homes continues to persist and with the pressing need to accommodate refugees escaping persecution from abroad, finding solutions to this problem couldn’t be more crucial. Planners after World War Two faced a considerable feat. They were tasked with finding a solution […]

Great Expectations- Building healthy communities and homes for our ageing society

The Living Space Architects team recently attended the Housing Lin conference in Bristol entitled: Great Expectations: Building Healthy Communities and Homes for our Ageing Society. Later living housing and building homes for the ageing is something that resonates strongly with our values and efforts, and we were interested to learn about other architects ideas in […]

Policy changes to accessible housing standards across England ‘optional’

Important policy changes to accessible housing standards across England came into force on 1 October 2015. While the new accessibility standards will be included into the Building Regulations, there are concerns about adoption as the government’s new standards are optional. In effect to comply with the new regulations, a housing provider need do nothing more […]

Inspiration from abroad: examples of the Spanish approach to homes for the elderly

When thinking of creative new ideas and designs, we often draw on inspiration from abroad. This year, we have been fortunate enough to be joined by architect Rocio Oteros from Spain. His interest in housing for later living has offered us unique insight into how this issue is approached in Spain and how it compares […]

Published in Real Homes Magazine

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Our beautiful house extension and refurbishment project in Grey Wings, Cornwall has been featured in the ‘Design Guide’ for Real Homes Magazine under ‘Sustainable Style’. This was a wonderful project to be part of, and we worked with obsessive detail to make the property the best it could possibly be. The result was a highly […]

How to find a new development opportunity

Decided to take on a property development opportunity? We don’t blame you! There’s something incredibly rewarding about seeing a property come together through your own planning, dedication and hard work. However, at the beginning, such a project can seem a little intimidating and daunting and it’s difficult to figure out where to start. So how do you […]

Basic principles for extending listed buildings

Clients often come to us asking how they might achieve an extension or alteration to a listed building. This can be tricky project to take on because any works of alteration, extension of demolition to a listed building requires listed building consent. This often also applies to repairs, so it is always wise to get […]

Creating a Dementia friendly home

Why is designing homes for people with dementia important? “Getting design right can make a fundamental difference to the lives of people with dementia.  It improves their life experiences and can increase life expectancy” The Dementia Centre www.dementia.stir.ac.uk What are the issues? More than 800,000 people in the UK are living with dementia, with numbers […]

Study of 3 Care Homes in Switzerland

We are interested in these examples in Switzerland of housing and specialist care home buildings. These examples have a lot of people waiting to move in… WohnenPlus, Flaesch In the centre of a small village stood this old building which has been renovated. It had a small shop on the ground floor and the other floors were not […]

Designing for Disabilities – a personal view

It is a difficult day when you suddenly realise your parents are getting older and that they will increasingly need your help. For me it was when my Mum had a stroke 3 years ago and became paralysed, not able to speak or communicate. The long journey of recovery is still going, but with the […]

The Consultation Process: Let’s talk, let’s draw!

Our 4 hour consultation is a fantastic way to kickstart your project.  We visit you in your home and develop sketches with you at your kitchen table. Within a fixed time frame, we talk with you and then then get drawing, leaving you with some key sketches summarising our discussions. We view the consultation as […]

Funky Bungalows : the contemporary features

We are developing a renewed fondness for the single storey dwelling so iconic of English suburbia. Level access, connection with garden, privacy are all reasons why bungalows have been so popular with the older generation for a length of time. Alongside these attributes, the traditional typology may also contribute to feelings of Isolation, a large […]

What do the over 60s look for in a new build?

The number of over 60s living in the UK is continuing to rise. Designers and developers need to understand the needs of this section of the population. There are a lot of assumptions around what the over 60s look for in a living space, but we’ve found through our work with a number of retired […]

Biodiveristy – Hindrance or Opportunity?

Yesterday evening we attended an eye opening masterclass about Biodiversity considerations within developments, with Dr Steve Holloway, the principle Ecology Consultant from SLR. Age old prejudices between developers and ecologists were disbanded as it became clear that both sides were seeking a pragmatic solution. Every developer in the room had run into difficulties with Local […]

Designing for a Lifetime

“Let’s face it – we do not need special architecture for old people, we need the right architecture for all ages. The problem with designing environments specifically for older people is that nobody wants to move into them: they are the last resort, not the first choice. ” Matthias Hollwich with Matthew Hoff man , […]

Designing for Later Living

This is the first in a series of blog posts looking at the theme of design for later living, or how we could be designing for an increasing ageing population. Over the last 10 years, like many young architectural practices we found ourselves cutting out teeth within the private residential sector.  As we have moved […]

We have moved to a new office!

                        Having outgrown our office in the Senate we have now moved to 18 Southernhay West where we have a lovely new studio and  Interior designer Hannah Martin is helping us with our fit out. Living Space Architects was established in 2004 in Plymouth […]

Grassroots Football

Investing in youngsters As you read the latest football news, it notes radical proposals for the restructuring of English football in the report of the FA commission. This is an important issue for us “If Football Association chairman Greg Dyke’s Commission really wants to study why fewer English youngsters are breaking through into the country’s […]

What’s in a name – Living Space

Why Living Space Architects The name relates to our own desire as architects to create spaces that are alive with energy and activity. It is after-all the activity and events that happen in spaces that make them special and our architecture is a backdrop to this, an enabler if you like. I think a lot […]

Architects in Residence at The Maynard School Exeter

Over the past year Kirsty Curnow Bayley has been working closely with architect Nick Gilbert Scott at The Maynard Girls School in Exeter as Architect in Residence.  The project involved a number of workshops with the year 8 students, where the girls tackled issues such as site planning, scale and sustainability as well as having […]

Electric Car for Living Space Architects

After deciding we should be practicing what we preach we now have a new electric company car. We decided to purchase a Nissan Leaf which has a range of around 100 miles, but this does depend on how many hills you drive up. Thankfully the regenerative breaking helps restore the range on the way back […]

Office to become new homes

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Empty offices above shops could soon be converted into flats if proposed changes from the government come into force next month. Currently planning permission is required for material changes of use of land or a building even if no building work is required. Converting an office above a shop to a residential use would therefore usually […]

All in a name – Employing an architectural designer to work on your project may not be what you expect

Undertaking a building project, whatever its scale, can be a daunting experience. As the chair of the Exeter branch of the Royal Institute of British Architects I am often involved in dinner party discussions where I hear the story of someone’s bad experience with an architect. “But were they really an architect?” I ask; “I’m […]

Will Self Build become more popular in Exeter and the Southwest?

We were excited to hear that MPs on the Communities and Local Government Committee share a similar enthusiasm for self-build homes as housing minister Grant Shapps. In their report on ‘financing of new housing supply’, they call on the government to establish a fund to incentivise local authorities to support pilot ‘volume self-build’ schemes by […]

Living Space Architects join Regen South West

After exhibiting at the  Renewable Energy Marketplace a few months ago, we decided to join Regen South West this month.  Regen SW has an expert team working to enable business, local authorities and other organisations to deliver renewable energy and energy efficiency and build a prosperous low-carbon economy in the south west. http://www.regensw.co.uk/ Regen SW […]

The requirement for home improvement energy efficient upgrades is scrapped by the Government

  The Government has scrapped plans for what was dubbed a ‘conservatory tax’ that would have required homeowners to install additional – and potentially expensive – energy efficiency measures when making home improvements. Part of the complicated proposals under the England and Wales Building Regulations: Part L 2013 Consultation – ‘consequential improvements’ have been part of […]

What is the Green Deal?

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The Energy Bill includes provision for a new “Green Deal” which the Government believe will revolutionise the energy efficiency of British properties.  Put simply, the Government is establishing a framework to enable private firms to offer consumers energy efficiency improvements to their homes, community spaces and businesses at no upfront cost, and recoup payments through a charge […]

Contemporary Architecture in St Leonards

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This blog post is about the contemporary architecture near where I live in St Leonards.  I should be clear that none of the buildings shown were designed by Living Space Architects, although I must admit I wish I had designed some of them myself as they are beautiful.  Where I can I have credited the […]

The New Homes Bonus

New Homes Bonus – Potential funding for community schemes The New Homes Bonus is billed by the government as a powerful incentive for housing growth and is a key part of the housing growth focus of thier national strategy. It is based on the council tax of additional homes built within local areas and those brought back into use, […]