Architect / Director
The practice was established by James Darwent in early 2010 after he returned home to his native Peak District. James is a chartered member of the RIBA, bringing to the practice a wealth of personal architectural experience established during his training at the Mackintosh School of Art in Glasgow and working for the multi award winning Scottish practice, Gareth Hoskins Architects.
He has been involved in and responsible for a wide range of projects, from one-off house projects, to innovative restaurant and bar designs, and was a key architect for a £14m School on the Shetland Isles and for Donald Trump's Aberdeenshire golf development.
James also completed his own Self Build barn conversion on the west coast of Scotland in 2009, and a recent full restoration of his current home. He has unique experience in all aspects of the build process from a client's perspective, such as budget control and project management.
Brought up in the heart of the Peak District National Park, he also has an in-depth knowledge of the local building style and has developed a strong working relationship with local planning authorities across the North West. The practice has become known for their sensitive approach to historic buildings or tricky sites where they have been able to breathe new life into them through careful integration of modern architecture sitting cohesively alongside the old.
Jo joined the practice towards the end of 2013, having completed her Masters degree in Architecture at Cardiff University. She passed her Part 3 exams in October 2019 and is now an excellent architect with a wealth of working knowledge of urban and rural architecture.
During her placement year she was at Cooley Architects in London, gaining experience in high-rise commercial housing projects and private residences.
Born in Hong Kong and raised in Manchester, she enjoys travelling between the U.K. and Asia, which has had the beneficial effect of broadening her design influences.
Jo is also interested in sustainability and the integration of renewable technologies into both new builds and refurbishment projects.
Carys studied at the Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff before qualifying as an Architect at the University of Westminster in 2018.
Before joining Darwent Architecture in 2020, Carys worked on large residential projects and varying scales of heritage and conservation projects while working at Purcell and jmarchitects in both Manchester and London.
Carys is interested in working with existing structures and developing sensitive and imaginative contemporary designs to enhance and adapt the use of existing buildings.
Originally from rural Wales, Carys is enjoys the differences in the landscape and architecture of the Peak District and is currently working towards accreditation in building conservation.
Sam is an architect who has a keen eye for high quality design and a great enthusiasm for authenticity and craftsmanship in architecture. With interests in the conscious application of materials and architectural illustration, Sam adds a variety of ideas and skills to the practice.
He completed his RIBA Part 1 at the Nottingham Trent University then had a wide range of internship experiences at distinguished practices such as Maber, Aedas whilst in Hong Kong, and Hawkins Brown in London. He finished his studies at Manchester School of Architecture winning awards including the Stacey Greenaway Prize for Outstanding Portfolio, 2017 and the MSA Future Architect Of The Year 2017, among others. Sam then qualified as an architect whilst at TPBennett in Manchester, he joined Darwent Architecture in 2021.
In his free time, Sam enjoys DIY, listening to his reggae records and riding the occasional wave. He loves to draw and views sketching as an essential part of the design process.
Alicia Ferris Llandete
Alicia Ferris Llandete was born in Valencia, Spain.
She graduated from Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Valencia in October 2015, spending 6 months out at İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi, Turkey.
Just after graduating, Alicia moved to London and completed her Part III course at the Architectural Association in 2019.
During her time in London, she worked in a variety of projects including theatres, private residences, offices restorations and cafes.
She enjoys construction, technical details and materials research.
Alicia joined Darwent Architecture in 2021 and is enjoying spending time in Manchester and the Peak District.
Outside of architecture, Alicia likes discovering new places, learning, swimming and sunny days.
Sarah joined us in Autumn 2019 originally with more of a view to run the admin side of the business. However, since September 2022 she has taken a more active role as an Architectural Assistant and now develops designs for clients alongside our other architects.
During her time here she has built up some great experience and is confident delivering design packages to clients with skill and knowledge to back-up her design process due to the experience she's gained being hands-on at the practice.
In her spare time she is being run ragged by her two young daughters or out walking Lady. On a very good day you can spot Sarah out on her paddle board somewhere along the coast of the Llyn Peninsula.
Our Cocker Spaniel, Lady, is an ever present eager helper around our offices. Her enthusiasm is boundless and she loves a good walk in her lunch hour.