Since its foundation Form Design Group has relished the challenges of working within sensitive urban and rural environments. A commitment to revealing the essence of the brief and exploring rational and economic solutions is met with enthusiasm and care, to achieve long-term value. This has attracted clients that have commissioned the Practice to undertake a variety of commissions that range from improving the quality of bathing water around the coastline of Devon and Cornwall, to interventions into historic places. The portfolio is comprised of a number of landmark residential, commercial and mixed-use schemes throughout the region and beyond.

We are motivated by place making and the fundamentals of space, light, proportion and material application in our architecture to achieve a simplicity and clarity. Our guiding principle is to work collaboratively, from the outset, with all design disciplines, and develop a shared vision for projects that is reasoned and elegant and faithfully interprets the preoccupations of the brief. We are acutely aware of the increasing importance of environmental performance and adaptability of our buildings that will allow them to live long and age gracefully. This approach and philosophy has been nurtured throughout the life of the Practice and the resulting buildings are widely acknowledged and cherished. The process is demanding and requires experienced, dedicated people, working cohesively and inspired by the potential of our clients’ mission.

Graham Lobb

Graham Lobb is a founding member and principal architect of Form Design Group. The practice, has been primarily devoted to serving projects in Devon and Cornwall, and its home city of Plymouth. The broad ranging portfolio of work and depth of experience includes South West Water’s ‘Clean Sweep’ programme, the largest environmental initiative to improve the bathing waters around a third of the English coastline, to small scale interventions into areas of high environmental value and great natural beauty. A driving ambition has been to ensure that resulting solutions offer a wider beneficial impact for the communities they serve.

Urban design has been a key interest. Respecting the fundamental character of urban form, and making sensitive interventions into it, has been a theme that has constantly guided the approach to the work. In Plymouth, three key inner city strategies initiated for Sutton Harbour, Stonehouse, and North Cross are of note. These have seeded positive change, contributed to enhancing the public realm, place-making, economic growth, and created opportunities to enrich life in the City.

An open and collaborative approach is taken to leadership, focusing on the key client objectives, to maximise the impact and potential of differing building typologies on the wider context. Client and user engagement in the design process has been central to stimulating creative responses to the preoccupations of the brief and their successful delivery.

Distilling the fundamentals of the brief into a simple set of guiding architectural principles concerned with order, proportion, light and the rational application of materials, has helped build a diverse portfolio and a reputation for thoughtful and elegant solutions that have stood the test of time.

Recent projects include a visitor centre for the UNESCO Jurassic Coast World Heritage Site, community workspace for the Millfields Trust, the restoration and conservation of historic mills at Buckfast Abbey, self- build housing for veterans, and the first phase of Plymouth’s largest marine industrial zone known as Oceansgate.

The quality of the work has been recognised with over thirty regional and national design awards.

Professional Interests

Elected to RIBA Council in 1991 and served on the Code of Conduct Committee for six years.
Chaired the RIBA Awards for Architecture Regional Jury in 2001.
Plymouth Urban Conference Steering Group 2002.
Member of Plymouth Cultural Strategy Steering Group 2002/3
Governor at Widewell Primary Academy 2006/16