My Positive Life | Lucy Marston

Lucy Marston is the British based architect whose design for the Long Farm has made such an impact on the design world that this year she was the winner of the UK Grand Designs Home of the Year Award 2013. Lucy’s design ethos is take a greater consideration of context – physical, social, geographical and historical. It is this, together with the development of a deep and detailed understanding of the building’s users and occupants, which characterises and informs her work. 

Lucy Marston’s work has met with much critical acclaim in the world of architecture so we thought we’d sit down with her and find out where she gets her spark of genius.

Lucy Marston with her sons. Photo credit Damian Russell.

Lucy Marston with her sons. Photo credit Damian Russell.

One word that describes you?


In your own words, what do you do?

I design simple, inspiring buildings. In other words physical environments for positive living!

Who is your greatest influence in your career/life?

My family. I grew up as part of the fourth generation of a family business – it taught me from an early age the value of hard work, taking the long view and being your own boss.

What is your favourite part of your job?

Seeing the spaces and details that were only previously in my head emerge from the building site at 1:1 scale.

 What is the most challenging part of your job?


What is your greatest achievement?

Winning the Grand Designs House of the Year 2013 for the first building I developed entirely on my own, whilst at home looking after my two young sons

What was your Plan B?

Architecture is very a structured and intense career, so there was never much room for contemplating Plan B. But if it didn’t work out I always secretly thought I’d make a good lawyer or accountant.

What is your most prized possession?

My house in Suffolk – it’s a great privilege to be able to live in a building you have designed

What’s the best advice you’ve been given?

Make sure you understand the context of every decision you take.

Please complete the sentence… I could not live without

A home of my own and the love of my family. Secure shelter is a basic human requirement and having my own refuge from the outside world is especially important to me. Beyond that, I would find it hard to function without being loved or needed by those close to me.

If you could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?  

Bess of Hardwick – a formidable 16th century noblewoman who married four times to become enormously wealthy and the build one of my all time favourite buildings – Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire

Sustainability and consumption are two words you will hardly find in the same sentence – which brands do you think are good quality and are doing their bit for people and the planet?

Waitrose and Hubbub – both doing their bit (albeit at different scales) for the efficient supply of quality food to us at home.  And so both making it easier for city dwellers to support sustainable farming and food production.

Do you support a charity or cause?

 I currently give a lot of my time as a volunteer advisor to a Suffolk based amenity society that’s aim is to drive up standards of building developments across the county – promoting sustainability and good design. I believe that increasing standards  – particularly in housing development will help to create positive sustainable communities and enhance the environment as the world becomes ever more populated.

What is your personal luxury?

Suffolk skies and sea views.

What steps do you take to make your life more positive?

Make sure I interact with open minded, creative and industrious people as often as possible.


The Long Farm

The Long Farm

The Long Farm Interior

The Long Farm Interior 


Katherine Sparshatt