Tom Spriggs

The practice was set up in 2013 with an aim to develop responsive and honest architecture, through a close understanding of client users, their lifestyle and needs. Tom took the conscious decision to set up the practice to move away from profit-driven briefs and contractor-led solutions within the commercial sector.

The practice focuses upon domestic projects for owners looking to build themselves a new home, or to alter or extend an existing building to their dream home. With extensive experience on older properties the practice enjoys bringing new life to historic buildings.

PRATICE INFO & EXPERIENCE

Prior to founding Tom Spriggs Architect in 2013, Tom has worked on a variety of project scales and sectors for 7 years at Grainge Architects in Exeter and also CAD Architects in Cornwall for 18 months. During this time project types included; commercial, healthcare, sports, dwellings, extensions, developer housing, masterplanning, student housing, shops, listed buildings, within conservation areas and in both urban and rural environments. Notable projects included working at design development stage for the award winning Five Islands School on the Isles of Scilly, an eco farmyard conversion to holiday lets in Cornwall, refurbishment and extension of a prominent listed building in Exeter, delivering four elderly mental health hospital refurbishments totalling £9m within Devon and Somerset and several shopfit projects for Stormfront Apple resellers nationwide.

While commercial or developer experience is not always directly relatable to homeowner projects, it all adds to layers of experience and it is surprising how often deep knowledge of healthcare and school design can be useful in designing peoples homes! Tom has worked on a number of projects where owners are thinking long-term or possible future healthcare needs. On these projects having a good background in elderly mental health is surprisingly useful to get spacial needs right. Having designed hospital-standard assisted bathrooms makes a small ground floor domestic shower room a straightforward exercise!

Since practicing on his own Tom has had a wide experience in housing projects including small scale interventions to help re-order someones ground floor, through to simple single room extensions, wrap-around extensions, two-storey extensions, multi-unit flat conversions and whole house refurbishments on Listed buildings, cob buildings, terraces, townhouses and isolated farmhouse and barn conversions.

Through ongoing project-specific and general ‘continued professional development’ (CPD) learning and research Tom has developed good knowledge of environmentally sound building principles and a variety of construction techniques.

Tom’s own objectives for the practice are to spend time with clients and develop professional, lasting relationships to ensure that, together they are able to deliver new spaces tailor-made for their use. Straightforward and efficient solutions constructed with quality raw materials, simply combined, ensure that elegant proposals are possible even with complex briefs and modest budgets.

 

 

 

Reducing energy use and creating biodiversity opportunities are a passion of the practice and always a key consideration while designing. Innovative or integrated storage is taken into consideration during the design and briefing to ensure buildings will work for their users, belongings and activities.

The decision to leave the larger developer-led practices and set up on his own was driven largely through a desire to work in close proximity to owner-clients and work on their homes rather than in the commercial architecture-for-profit sector.

BACKGROUND AND EDUCATION

Tom was educated at the Welsh School of Architecture gaining a BSc in Architectural Studies and a Bachelor of Architecture (BArch), before completing his post-graduate Certificate in Professional Studies qualification at the University of Bath. Living and working in the Southwest, Devon, Cornwall, Dorset and Somerset, Tom has developed a working knowledge of the varying vernacular architecture, the planning authorities and other consultants to assist with developing designs. With his work on the Stormfront Apple stores and selected residential work he has further nationwide experience.

 

SERVICES

The practice can help on feasibility studies, sketch design, planning or permitted development documentation and drawings, detailed construction design and building regulations submissions.

The practice does not offer contract administration services on-site, (certifying builders invoices and ‘signing off’ as works progress (RIBA stage 5 and onwards)) but can provide technical support, alterations to drawn information and assistance as necessary. The decision to not offer this stage is from a time-management and business running perspective.

 

HOME LIFE

Tom works from his home office/studio in Heavitree, living with his wife who is a local GP and two young boys. They have a Victorian house that is slowly being renovated and improved.

A keen lover of the outdoors and simple pleasures, cycling, walking, kayaking, family BBQs and making use of the fantastic Devon countryside and coast.

LINKS AND MEMBERSHIPS

Tom is a Chartered Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and is registered with the architects registration board working according to their codes of practice. 

Tom Spriggs Architect Ltd is a member of The Green Register who provide CPD training in sustainable building techniques and materials.

The practice also supports the Twentieth Century Society with membership, helping safeguard the heritage of architecture and design in Britain from 1914 onwards, an era often overlooked for preservation. So many great underlying designs have been lost due to chronic lack of maintenance or disguising with signage and poor alterations. The rebuilding after the wars was fast and looking to a bright future, but misinformation on maintenance and how to look after these new designs has led to their detriment. Not all are worthy of protection, but neither are all older buildings. The Twentieth Century Society work hard to try and prevent destruction of the prime examples of this era before it is too late and educate and highlight those worthy or retention. It is easy to look far back to history with ‘rose-tinted spectacles’ and lament their losses, but before long the dramatic concrete forms of the 60s and 70s (and later) will be lost too. Some are definitely not worthy of retaining, but to sweep away a well designed structure because it is dirty is short-sighted and carbon-heavy. Replacements by profiteering developers are rarely going to stand the test of time any better.

 

WEBSITE

Tom has a pinterest account where he keeps a scrapbook of liked things, things seen, or beautiful materials. There is no particular aesthetic or source for inspiration and some items are retained only for the catalyst idea, rather than the outcome, but by browsing you may find some common ground to get the ball rolling. Pintrest among other similar websites can be used as a useful scrapbook tool for discussion of materials and ideas, either collaboratively or privately. 

A number of sample drawings have been included upon this website to further explain projects or illustrate what you can expect from working with an architect. However they are for illustrative purposes only, originally to serve a single project and client, and are covered by copyright protection so are not to be copied or used for construction.