Third Design is an Architectural practice that believes our environment demands more from us designers. Focussing on the intelligent design of rooms, buildings and streets in which we all live to help the transition to low-carbon, sustainable living.

The practice was founded in Bristol, UK, in 2012 by Sam Fitzgerald who spent the previous decade working in his native Somerset and London, at busy practices working on a wide variety of projects as a Senior Architectural Technician. They included residential, multi-unit developments, retail units, offices, train stations, refurbishment, restaurants, conversions and agricultural buildings. During that time Sam developed a passion for sustainability in Architecture, both in design ethics, construction methods, and relationships with clients. Sam started Third Design to bring them further into his work, and because of how we work, the practice has gone from strength to strength in the years since.

Samuel Fitzgerald of Third Design

Design Process.

Stage 1: Discovery

The first stage of any Architectural project is the most important. Here is where we meet to discuss the project, determine the issues you have and also those that you may not have thought of.

Once the brief has been agreed we carry out a measured survey. Unlike most Architectural practices we do not merely measure the site, we also carry out an assessment on the orientation of the land/ property, the current level of energy efficiency, how the land/property is used by its occupants and many other factors that will help in ensuring the design meets the needs of both the client and the surroundings in which it sits.

Stage 2: Design

All information collated within the survey stage will then be used to form the basis of the proposed design. This design, I feel, will best satisfy the issues raised in the initial brief. Often I will also allow for an additional stage for conceptual images. These can be useful when visualising how a space flows and looks. Architectural visuals are a great way to look at a design at an early stage and form decisions that will eventually produce the more formal drawings.

This design is then open to further participatory planning with the client to refine the details until we all have something we are happy with.

For larger projects we recommend the aid of an artists impression, this may either be in the form of a hand-drawn visual or a 3d photo realistic image. Animations are also available.

Stage 3: Planning

When a proposal is ready for a planning application, Third Design work alongside the local planning authority (and any other external consultants) to ensure a smooth ride through the process.

Acting as agent for the application, I will liaise with my client throughout if there are any bumps along the way.

Once planning approval has been granted we then take the approved drawings and begin to develop the building, inside and out.

Stage 4: Construction

Unlike many practices we do not produce just building regulations drawings, we develop our designs into construction drawings. This means that as well as producing a set of drawings that may be submitted to the local building control for approval, they may also be used to complete the construction of the project, detailing it out so that the amount of questions arising during the build is reduced as much as possible.

At Third Design we believe that the construction design of buildings should be closely controlled. This ensures that the final product is that of the design in terms of quality, detailing, efficiency and aesthetics.

Again, I act as agent during the building regulations approval stage and work alongside third parties until approval has been granted.