About Us

Who are Thinking Buildings?

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Hi!

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

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Darren Aspinall

Director
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.
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James Hutton

Director
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.
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Rachel Aspinall

Architect
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 modelling. 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.
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Robert Fairfield

Architect
Robert is a qualified Architect with a keen interest in sustainable design, and specialised in sustainability at university.  Robert has worked on a range of projects mainly in the residential and community sectors.  He also has experience of working on conservation projects, and enjoys learning from vernacular architecture.  Robert enjoyed working on larger education projects at Sheppard Robson, and this give him a good understanding of the coordination necessary for larger projects.  At David Birkett Architecture & Design Robert worked on conservation projects,  His interest in sustainability led him to volunteer with Earthworks Construction Ltd; a sustainable building company in The Gambia, Africa for 6 months.  He joined Holland and Green on his return to the UK, and gained an understanding of high end residential projects, completing numerous projects during his time there.  In April 2015 Robert joined Thinking Buildings to work on a wider range of sustainable design projects.
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Gareth Williams

Architect
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.
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Bethan Axford

Architect
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 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.

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Tom Jephson

Architectural Assistant
Tom is a Part I Architectural Assistant, graduating from the University of Lincoln in 2015 where he was Vice President of the Universities’ Architecture Society. He has a strong interest in conservation architecture which is demonstrated in his final project, a Music Centre which combines a new build with the adaptation of the existing buildings upon the site. Tom believes that to design unique solutions that are tailored to the brief, it is important to go into depth with values, history and analysis of a site to find the right approach and solution.
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Jack Bignell

Architectural Assistant

 

Indraj Bhachu

Architectural Assistant
Indi is a Part 1 Architectural Assistant, graduating from the Leicester School of Architecture in 2016. Indi believes that every design should tell a story, starting from understanding the context of a site, its historical background to the final model. He believes that a design should take inspiration from the site itself and these conceptual notions should be pushed through hand sketches and model exploration in order to develop an idea. Indi has a keen passion for Social housing projects and undertook his final project at university developing a Vertical High-Street within the Central Hill Community in Lambeth.
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