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Grand Designs Live 2013

03 Oct 2013 / in Uncategorized

We were thrilled to be asked to exhibit again at this year’s Grand Designs Live in Birmingham, Stuart is busy putting up the stand today and we will be there from Friday 4th until Sunday 6th.  Every year we get to meet lots of great people who are looking for an architect to help them design their new home.  We’ll be offering design advice, budget cost information and tips for helping you achieve planning consent.  Come and find us on stand B943 in the Grand Build Section.

What’s in a name – Living Space

10 Jul 2013 / in Uncategorized

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 of people think we chose the name Living Spacearchitects because we specialise in residential architecture, in fact we don’t specialise in this area at all although naturally as a young practice we do a lot of residential work.

As a student I was fascinated by writings by Architects like Tschumi – event cities etc. Tschumi said architecture is not simply about space and form, but also about event, action, and what happens in space. I designed an ice factory in the back streets of west end London with an ice wall that crashed to the ground every day nada yearly ice festival. It was the idea of history, memory, and event making a place special through its architecture and buildings being a dynamic part of this not just bystanders. Obviously as a student you were expected to make a scale model of said ice factory along with real ice, which I then decided to hang from the ceiling. Questions like how much does a sq m of ice really weigh and what is the load bearing capacity of the studio ceiling had to be asked as well as what happens when it melts on the floor.

Living space follows on from this with its practice, creating spaces not just as a backdrop but as places where people can interact and where things happen, ideas are created, friendships are formed and strengthened and life lived to the full. This may be a dining room extension or a more complex design for a performing arts centre, but the essence of a dynamic, living form of space remains and enriches our design process to create forms that resonate with our clients and the building users.

Listed House Extension

06 Feb 2013 / in Uncategorized

As we prepare our exhibition stand for the Listed Property Show we can show here the first pictures of a recently completed Listed House refurbishment and modern extension to a thatched cottage.

Living Space Architects secured planning and listed building consent for this integrated light and modern extension. The form of the new building is a crescent shape which follows the afternoon sun and is positioned to enjoy far views from inside or sitting on the new terrace.

The interior of the new rooms are bright, modern and open plan, which provides a welcome relief from the low ceilings and darker interiors of the original house.

Electric Car for Living Space Architects

23 Jan 2013 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

electric carAfter 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 down!

Office to become new homes

27 Sep 2012 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized
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 require planning permission but from October 1st this could all change.

After an announcement made by the government Permitted development rights look likely to be extended to include the conversion of parts of certain offices and shops to two residential flats.  There will still be exceptions as local authorities can remove permitted development rights where they think they may cause a problem – for example in conservation areas.

Under the 1995 Order, local authorities can remove permitted development rights in geographic areas where they think these new rights might cause a problem. They can do so by making an Article 4 direction, the effect of which is to a require a planning application which in other locations would not be necessary. Article 4 directions are commonly found in conservation areas.

Announcing the proposed changes Mr Pickles said:

“These are common sense planning reforms that will deliver more affordable homes in areas where there are good transport links whilst ensuring better use of existing developed land. Cutting this red tape should be a shot in the arm for the high street increasing footfall and providing a boost to regeneration.”

We look forward to finding out if the new permitted development rights will be as revolutionary as Mr Pickles hopes when they are brought into force in October.

Grand Designs Live Birmingham

18 Sep 2012 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

We’ve got a stand at the Grand Designs Live Exhibition at the NEC in Birmingham from the 12th -14th of October. At the show Living Space Directors, architects Kirsty Curnow Bayley and Stuart Bayley, will be on hand to talk to you about your project and give design and technical advice.

Whether your unsure about planning law, or want some tips about making sure your build comes in on budget, come along and see us for a chat.

You can find out more about the show by following this link to the website

Based on the Channel 4 TV show and presented by design guru Kevin McCloud, the event will be packed with over 500 exhibitors, across 6 different sections! Covering interiors, garden, home improvement, self build, renovations, technology and shopping.

Come along and get all the information and inspiration you nedd for your project in one place.


Self Build & Design Show Exeter

09 Sep 2012 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

We have enjoyed meeting new clients this weekend at the Self Build & Design Show at Westpoint in Exeter.

Visitors have been keen to discuss the proposed revisions to planning legislation announced  this week and to find out if they will be  able to take advantage of this.  Government proposals include increasing permitted development rights to enable extensions of up to 6-8m.

We have also been giving a lot of advice about the potential for achieving planning permission on particular sites across Devon, Cornwall and Somerset.  A high number of clients are looking at building and extending properties on Dartmoor, an area where we have a lot of experience.

We are pleased that there have been an increased number of people visiting the stand this year, which hopefully is a reflection of an increase in activity within the residential construction sector.

With exciting developments such as the new John Lewis store opening next month, Exeter is clearly the place to be in the southwest.  Here at Living Space Architects are have enjoyed watching the city centre changing and developing  over the last few years and feel that the success of the Self Build show this weekend reflects the optimism felt by the local community.

We’re looking forward to visiting all the potential new clients we have gained from the show from Dartmoor to Ottery and helping them all to achieve their property dreams.

Women In Property Cornwall

24 May 2012 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized


Kirsty spent a very ejnoyable morning at Pentillie Castle yesterday where she had a first attempt at Clay Pigeon shooting with the Devon and Cornwall branch of  Women in Property.

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

Will Self Buid projects become more common in the South West?
10 May 2012 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized

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 allocating sites and taking a flexible approach to planning.

The committee says that it sees no reason why the first pilots could not be up and running in two years’ time and has asked the government to report back.

The MPs have been to see large-scale self-build in action in Almere in the Netherlands where the local authority played an enabling role and adopted a relaxed approach to regulating design and construction (building regulations were still enforced) that has produced innovative designs.

So impressed were the MPs that they suggest that a similar, high-profile scheme in England could help to kick-start a new enthusiasm for self-build over here. They also call on the government to work with mortgage lenders to overcome barriers to lending to self builders, identified as one of the main obstacles facing the bespoke housing sector.  With Self Builds in Devon a fairly common occurance we would like to see Exeter City Council back a Self Build Scheme here in the South West.

Last month Shapps hosted a workshop at No 10 Downing Street to highlight new support measures for self-builders, including the launch of the Self Build Portal|, and pledged to double the volume of self-build homes.

The government is already promoting its plans to release surplus public sector land specifically for self-build and has said it will establish a £30 million revolving fund for multi-unit self build projects, as called for by the National Self Build Association.

Having seen some of the Self Build Schemes in the Netherlands first hand we are excited at the prospect of similar schemes taking shape here in the UK, we believe the demand is high for people who would like to build there own home but don’t have the finances to buy a plot.  Indeed plots of land for self builders in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset are rare, and those with planning permission sell for very high prices.

With any luck we will start to see some progress within the next few years.

Exeter Community Centre

02 May 2012 / 0 Comments / in Uncategorized


Newtown Community Association (NCA) in Exeter could soon have a new building at their site in Belmont Park.


The Community Association based in Exeter has been drawing up plans for a new facility, which will be an exemplar of sustainable passive technology and provide the local community with a much needed updated facility for local clubs and groups to meet.

The NCA have been working with Exeter based Living Space Architects to create a Vision for the scheme which has now been submitted as a planning application.

Kirsty Curnow director of Living Space Architects said: “We have been working hard with the community to create a building that meets their needs and uses as little energy as possible and the NCA are delighted that the council may be able to provide some of the funding that is required to make the scheme viable”

Living Space Architects have designed projects for community groups, including a children’s football centre funded by the Football Foundation in Tavistock and a Community Centre in Belmont Park in Exeter.

Neighbourhood planning – the new tier of the planning system –seeks to give communities more control over the future of their area.  But planning, design and development are complex and the skills that architects possess – enabling, facilitating, visioning, innovating and stimulating ideas – will be vitally needed if neighbourhood planning is to work.

“Evidence and experience drawn from participatory design practice points to the fact that a collaborative design process done well not only engages local people in the design of the built environment that they experience everyday, but can also lead to better and more sustainable projects, and to a more collaborative and positive process of change.” RIBA guide to Localism, getting community engagement right.