After meeting at the RCA, Tom Surman and Percy Weston established their practice, Surman Weston in 2014 and have won multiple awards including the Stephen Lawrence Prize in 2022.

They completed their first development, a family house in Peckham, south London, in 2022. The house won an RIBA London Award 2024.

The architects bought the council-owned site in 2018 without planning permission. The first issue they faced was the discovery of a mains utility on the site which delayed the sale by a year. Then, Covid-19 and the war in Ukraine saw building costs rise forcing them to physically build most of the house, excluding the brickwork and shell.

Thy say that the experience has been “rewarding but very challenging.” and their story is a fascinating insight into the highs and lows of being an architect developer.

This talk took place at The Building Society in May 2024

Photo: Jim Stephenson