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Scholarship for Stowmarket architect

Matt Loosley outside SPAB headquarters in London.
Matt Loosley outside SPAB headquarters in London.

An award-winning Stowmarket architect who helped design an arts centre in the town has joined a top scholarship to learn more about building conservation.

Matt Loosley will travel the country as part of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) Scholarship to experience the best in current conservation practice.

The nine-month programme includes site, workshop and studio visits to meet fellow architects, building specialists and craftspeople.

The 26-year-old said: “I’d like to continue designing new additions to historic buildings, but doing this appropriately requires an understanding of how old buildings work and how to look after them properly.

“The SPAB Scholarship is the best way for me to gain these skills, meeting the leading experts in conservation practice in the UK and Ireland, and getting on-site to learn from the craftspeople working on our old buildings.”

His interest in historic buildings started in 2011 when his design for the John Peel Centre at the Stowmarket Corn Exchange won a regional Royal Institute of British Architects award.

In 2014, Matt received the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects’ travel award to document the modernist ruins of India.

Travelling to India for three weeks, he photographed and surveyed buildings in Chandigarh and Ahmedabad.

The study formed the basis of his Masters thesis investigating the technical, economic and cultural factors behind the decline of the internationally renowned buildings.

More recently, Matt has been based in Manchester working on large scale refurbishments of Edwardian offices, warehouses and hospitals until qualifying as an architect last year.

He joins two other architects on the scholarship.

They have already visited projects at Westminster Abbey and Hampton Court Palace as well as small-scale domestic projects in central London.

The SPAB says it has organised the training scheme for young architectural and building professionals since 1930 to ensure they are ‘equipped with the skills, sensitivity and experience to care for significant heritage sites’.

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