Our Team

Darren Aspinall

Director, Architect

Work info...

I only ever wanted to be an Architect and to design exciting and interesting buildings, spaces and places. Following graduation I worked for award winning practices mainly designing large scale education projects. In 2011 Thinking Buildings was set up with James. Ten plus years later, the business is vibrant, secure and sustainable, delivering high quality architecture and well thought out buildings. I lead our Education Team and I remain heavily involved in the early design stages of our school projects. Alongside this I have a strong interest in low energy design, timber and oak framed construction and I am a RIBA Part 3 examiner.

Personal info...

I'm a keen sportsperson - my friends would call me competitive. I once played Rugby to a high level - the only thing I wanted to do more than being an Architect. I remain sporty but it is safe to say that I have gained more injuries than trophies in recent years. I spend my spare time coaching youth football which I find amazingly rewarding, fun and meaningful. I love travelling and having adventures with my family, and I like a beer or two...

James Hutton

Director

Work info...

I've always been fascinated by design in all things, including buildings and how things work. After spending 14 years working for a number of architectural practices in 2011 Darren and I broke away to set up Thinking Buildings. This coincided with a slow down in the construction sector and when my wife and I were expecting our first child. Maybe a mad decision, but more than 10 years later we're still here and thriving.

Personal info...

As well as the normal stuff, such as spending time with family I spend much of my time, along with my family and friends involved in vintage vehicles and specifically steam engines. We can often be found on the roads of Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and sometimes further afield on our family steam engine cruising at around 5 miles per hour. It's fair to say we get a mixture of reactions, thankfully mostly positive, but often confusion and surprise.

Alexandra O’Hanlon

Practice Manager

Work info...

I have many years of experience managing business and people. Encouraging people to achieve their goals and be “their best them” is a huge driving force in what I do. I believe that a great and successful business needs great, happy and fulfilled people; achieving both of these things is what my role entails and what I strive for daily.

Personal info...

I’m a mum of two fantastic children. When not at work you’ll find me exploring cliffs, countryside and coastal paths, rock climbing, horse riding, swimming, baking, interior designing and renovating houses, travelling and going on various adventures with family and friends!

Bethan Axford

Associate Architect

Work info...

My favourite part of working in architecture is getting to collaborate with clients and other professionals to help bring their ideas to life.

Personal info...

I have a lot of outside creative interests, including pottery, upholstery, textiles and interior design, but most of all ice cream!

Gareth Williams

Associate Architect

Work info...

Being a bit of a people pleaser, I’m only happy when delivering spaces that exceed our clients dreams and aspirations. Having a passion for good design and sound project delivery, it was my father who put me on the path of Architecture where I could put my technical drawing skills to use.

Personal info...

When not working, I simply enjoy making the most of life, whether that be travelling and seeing / experiencing new things, out in the countryside hiking, on the slopes skiing or back home doing some DIY. When I do eventually stop, I can be found kicking back with a beer in the hot tub watching Formula 1.

Rachel Aspinall

Architect

Work info...

I enjoy the role of architect as we are able to help our clients on a journey, from establishing the brief and following the design process through to completion. I am also passionate about energy efficient and sustainable architecture, and improving existing education buildings to create better learning environments.

Personal info...

Outside of architecture I enjoy spending time with my family and exploring new places. I enjoy playing football and netball, and often go running and cycling with my friends.

Jack Bignell

Architectural Assistant

Work info...

Architecture became my passion when I began to draw house plans and build them with lego. I have since begun to combine this passion with my love of history. Historic buildings always make more interesting projects and it is important to me that we try to understand the best ways to change them.

Personal info...

I love to draw and I occasionally paint. I have recently put my architectural skills to the test by starting a house refurbishment with a couple of friends from university. I also used to enjoy quizzes (before Alex started to beat me every week at the company quiz)

Jessica Moore

Architectural Technologist

Work info...

My love for Architecture began at a young age, I could always be found playing on any 3D design software I could get my hands on. Coming from a construction background as a family, understanding how things work has always been important to me, lending itself to a Technologist role. I enjoy the challenging and ever developing nature of the architecture alongside getting stuck into new exciting projects.

Personal info...

Outside of work I am a keen foodie and enjoy spending my summer weekends at historic motor racing events with my partner racing classic cars across the country, I however play more of a supporting role ensuring a constant supply of cold beer and more importantly... wine. I think I will leave the racing to the professionals!

Leigh Hulme

Architectural Assistant

Work info...

I enjoy learning new skills, developing ideas and seeing projects come to life from sketch schemes to 3D models.

Personal info...

In my spare time I like to read for pleasure. I have found a hobby in snowboarding and go as often as I can to the snowdomes. I also enjoy music and films, seeing the latest releases whenever possible and spending time with my family.

Careers

We are always excited and keen to hear from great Architects who are interested in working for Thinking Buildings. If we don’t currently have a vacancy but we think that you will be a great fit, we will gladly keep your information on file for when we do.

Please send your CV with a cover letter to email@thinking-buildings.co.uk

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