Who are Thinking Buildings?
We’re a team of friendly, approachable, professional designers, who love buildings and architecture. We work tirelessly to help people like you get the most from their buildings and environments. We have lots of experience, which means we can give you great advice, but we also know how to listen. You can rely upon us to give you sound impartial advice.
We’re a Chartered Architects Practice regulated by RIBA, so you can be sure we have the highest professional standards.
But enough about us – let’s talk about you. Whether you are a homeowner, run a business or are involved with schools, you need someone (when you’re thinking about buildings) who takes care of the complicated stuff so you can focus on your stuff.
Thinking Buildings we make it easy for you to extend, renovate, refurbish or build from new. You’ll love our fresh, friendly approach and the way in which we fit in around you, ensuring the whole process suits your needs.
We’re here to help you!
Meet the team
Darren is a qualified chartered Architect with over 15 years of experience. He has designed a range of interesting and exciting buildings, particularly in the residential, community and educational sectors. He has a strong interest in low energy design and the use of timber in construction. Darren was recently a technical and sustainability advisor to the Princes’ Trust for the ‘Natural house’ demonstration project that was recently constructed at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford.
James is an Architectural Technologist with over 16 years experience. During this time he has been involved with and managed the delivery of a vast range of buildings mainly in the residential, community, healthcare and educational sectors. Project values vary from 10k to 13 million. James’s speciality is the technical delivery of projects, which has involved managing teams of people. Most significant of these have been the Taylor Road Primary School Leicester and Post 16 Centre at Melton Mowbray where he oversaw the delivery of two major schemes with a team of up to 6 architectural staff. He has a strong interest in low energy design and the use of timber in construction.
Rachel is a qualified Architect with an interest in energy efficient and sustainable design. She has worked on a number of projects mainly in the residential, community, healthcare and education sectors. Whilst at Oxford Brookes University Rachel was able to undertake a specialist route in energy efficiency and sustainable building where she gained experience in post-occupancy evaluation, material properties, building physics, climatic design, sustainable issues and thermal modeling. After leaving university Rachel joined Oxford Architects and has been Project Architect on a number of projects from feasibility through to practical completion. These include Rooksdown Community Centre, 205 Woodstock Road, and The Lodge. She has also worked on a number of healthcare projects up to planning stage. In January 2013 Rachel joined Thinking Buildings, an exciting new practice, specialising in low energy sustainable design.
Gareth qualified as a chartered Architect after graduating with Distinction from De Montfort University in 2012. Having 8 year’s experience in Architectural Practice, he has been involved in the delivery of a number of projects, primarily within the residential, community, commercial and educational sectors. Through studying and working in tandem, Gareth has developed a greater understanding and skill set in delivering a project from inception through to completion, with an emphasis on technical delivery and project management. Most notable of these projects is the £3.5m Broom Leys Mixed Use Development, Coalville and a £1m Veterinary Facility for the RSPCA.
Gareth made the exciting move to Thinking Buildings in September 2014 to join a practice with a passion for low energy sustainable architecture.
Bethan is a registered architect, with over eight years’ experience. She has worked on a broad range of buildings including private, developer lead and affordable housing, education, healthcare and commercial developments. She has a long standing interest in sustainable design, in terms of both energy consumption and also an appropriate response to historical and vernacular context at the building and the urban scales. Bethan’s favourite part of being an architect is helping clients realise their projects, and seeing them come to understand the benefit and joy to be found in great design.
Since graduating her Masters with distinction in 2007, Bethan has honed in on residential and school design as areas of particular interest. Bethan joined Thinking Buildings in 2015.
Prior to joining Thinking Buildings, Ashleigh worked in practices based in the East and West Midlands, focusing on small private residential works to large-scale commercial developments. In 2016 Ashleigh gained his RIBA Part III chartered status at Birmingham School of Architecture becoming a fully qualified architect. Ashleigh has a keen interest in design and graphics through both 3D modeling and freehand sketching while working closely with the client to fulfill their aspirations of constructing a bespoke design tailored to suit their lifestyle. Ashleigh joined Thinking Buildings in 2018 as a Project Architect.
Jess qualified as an Architectural Technologist in 2019 from The University of Derby whilst working in tandem within the industry. Jess has over seven years’ architectural experience working on both private residential and commercial schemes in and around the East Midlands. Jess has a keen interest in broadening her BIM and sustainable design knowledge. Jess joined Thinking Buildings team in April 2019.
Leigh is a Part 2 Architectural Assistant looking to become an architect in 2019. He completed his undergraduate and post-graduate degree at the University of Lincoln and has previously worked with a small practice in Oxfordshire. Leigh has experience working on a variety of residential developments for private clients and local housing authorities as well as working alongside charities that support those with special needs. He has also been involved in the motor industry sector in past years. Leigh joined Thinking Buildings in 2019 with a passion to transfer his skills and expand his knowledge into BIM and push himself to achieve Clients aspirations.
What our clients say about us
We asked Thinking Buildings to revisit and redesign the planning permission we had obtained for our house as we had some concerns about the functionality and...Read more
We heard about Thinking Buildings via a RIBA search of local practices – Darren responded extremely quickly when we registered our project on the RIBA...Read more
Thank you Darren for the efficient way with which you have closed this out. We are really pleased with the finished article, and very much...Read more
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you very much to Thinking Buildings, in particular James Hutton for his help, expertise and...Read more
A number of people have told us that there are only two kinds of architect; those who will design something exciting – but it will...Read more