Tom Ground

Aylsham High School (graduated in 1986)
O Levels: 5 A’s, 4 B’s, 1 C.

What were your A-Level results at Paston
Physics C
Maths D
Art E

Where did you go to University and what mark did you leave with
Leeds Metropolitan University
BA Hons in Architecture 2:1
Post graduate Diploma in Architecture  (Hons)
RIBA - Chartered Architect qualifications


Who do you work for, and what projects have you been involved in? 
I currently work for myself in our office based in Cromer.  Prior to this I was a Director at CAM Architects in Norwich for 12 years. Since graduating I have worked at a number of practices in both Leeds and Norwich which have given me really valuable experience in both commercial and conservation architecture. 

I am passionate about sustainability and try to incorporate green technologies and architectural solutions that will have minimal impact on the environment.  Many of my buildings have been recognised in regional and national awards for innovation and sustainability in design.
Here are just a few: 
The Atrium at North Walsham High School
Cawston park Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit
Restoration of Blakeney Lifeboat House, 
Restoration work at Blickling and Felbrigg Halls
Sheringham Park Visitors Centre
One off eco houses such as Sedum House in Gimingham and Curve House at Edgefield 
See more at: www.ground-designs.co.uk


What is a ‘typical day at work like? 

There is no typical day, which is what I love about my job.  Each project is different and I normally have about fifty on the go at any one time. I spend a lot of time visiting sites and talking with clients, planners, builders and  specialist consultants, trying to find solutions that work. With Architecture you are dealing with large million plus budgets so it is vital that you get it right.
I enjoy the whole design process and gain a huge amount of job satisfaction from seeing a project evolve, until finally the finished building is there before you.

What did you study at Paston? How did that course help you progress upon your career path? 
I studied Physics, Maths and Art at Paston.  This combination really covers all aspects of Architecture so it was a good choice of subjects.

What are the important skills you have had to develop and hone to be successful in your job? 
People skills are arguably one of the most important.  I might be talking to Lords and Ladies one moment, planners the next and then builders on site.  It was really important for me to gain confidence in dealing with all sorts of people. With designing it is vital that you are continually learning and keeping up to date with new technologies and current trends. I have also competed two self-build projects which helped me to have hands on experience and so I developed a greater understanding of how a project comes together- practical experience to support the theory.

Did you ever envisage doing this while you were at Paston? 
Yes I was pretty much focused on pursuing a career in Architecture since High School.

What did you do in the year immediately after graduating? 
I finally completed my seven years of Architecture training in the depths of the first recession. There were no jobs at all in the building industry, in fact most practices were making redundancies.  I knew I had to gain experience, so I volunteered to work for nothing with a practice.  This paid off in the end as they offered me a job.

"I studied Physics, Maths and Art at Paston. This combination really covers all aspects of Architecture so it was a good choice of subjects."