In autumn 2021 LHC’s senior leadership team welcomed the addition of experienced architect, Rebecca Thurgood.
We were delighted when Rebecca agreed to join us from London design-led practice Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects, where she played a leading role for 15+ years. She joined LHC in September as Associate Director based in the Exeter studio, but is busy working with our teams across the south west region, where she has also just been appointed to the South West Design Review Panel.
As for many people, the pandemic precipitated some soul searching, and Rebecca and her partner, who both have family connections in the South-West, decided it was time to leave the city and head for new surroundings and different challenges.
London’s loss was LHC’s gain as Rebecca has brought with her a huge amount of experience in affordable housing, working with community-based and vulnerable groups and finding ways through thorny issues using collaboration and negotiation.
Now Rebecca has had time to get her feet under the LHC desk we took the opportunity ask her how she is finding working in Devon.
I’m still pinching myself to be honest that I do get to live and work amidst the beauty and drama of Devon. I’ve enjoyed exploring despite the weather, especially along the Exe Estuary. The welcome from the LHC team has been warm and for that I’m especially grateful. They’re a fun company.
Professionally I really enjoy the challenge of unlocking a site’s potential, particularly the sites that are challenging and often urban and brownfield. So it has been great to be able to apply those skills and immediately take the lead on projects for city based clients such as Exeter City Living.
Residential and particularly affordable housing is an area of particular interest to me and it’s a pleasure to explore this sector in a more rural location.’
Rebecca’s impressive portfolio includes numerous residential and mixed-use projects for public and private sector clients such as Peabody, Notting Hill Genesis and Ballymore. The quality of these schemes has been commended in awards ranging from the Housing Design Awards, LABC Awards and a RICS Special Award for Excellence in Design. But she’s spent time on the other side of the judging table too as a Civic Trust Awards Assessor.
Supporting the professionals of the future is another commitment of Rebecca’s and is one she shares with her fellow LHC female senior team members Director Glayne Price, and Associate Jill Himsworth. All are active in mentoring young professionals. Rebecca is a former RIBA Student Mentor at Kingston University and Studio Tutor at Portsmouth School of Architecture, and this is something she hopes quickly to rekindle now she’s in the south west.
Substantial technical knowledge and a considered, collaborative approach means she’s been able to navigate constraints and engagement with stakeholders to deliver noteworthy projects. As LHC also has a reputation for delivering complex sites, Rebecca has proved to be a particular asset in this area. Director, Rob Bramhall said:
Rebecca has already proved to be a valuable addition to our senior team. Her residential knowledge and experience in social housing enhance those already in the practice, but we were also excited about Rebecca bringing her perspective to our work in the commercial, community and education sectors, particularly for Exeter Science Park and other longstanding clients.
We have an extraordinarily knowledgeable and experienced group of Directors taking LHC Design forward, and Rebecca is already contributing new, fresh ideas to our business planning process.
Photography/CGIs are drawn from Rebecca’s portfolio of work with Stephen Davy Peter Smith Architects and photography is ©Lyndon Douglas Photography.