RIBA Award winning: Downley House, Hampshire

RIBA Award winning: Downley House, Hampshire

client relationships

Our starting point for any design is to work closely with clients to develop a brief which captures their requirements.  A clear understanding of the brief together with a close client relationship is paramount to the delivery of a successful project.

Working with a wide variety of public and private sector clients, we have an exceptional proven track record of delivering high quality architectural solutions that exceed expectations. 

a Contextual approach

Every project is formed of a unique set of constraints and opportunities which give rise to a design solution particular to its site and its surroundings. 

Each of our projects begin with an investigation of the site to fully understand its character and potential – including physical, cultural, environmental and historical contexts.  This analysis is informed by our experience in finding appropriate solutions in sensitive rural and historic urban contexts.


Through collaborative working with a variety of experienced consultants we create practical and joyous solutions. 

Over many years we have developed strong creative partnerships with experts including strategic thinkers, urban designers, structural engineers, environmental engineers, landscape architects and cost consultants - who all enrich and facilitate the outcome. 


We advocate the merits of listening to and understanding communities, stakeholders and users. This engagement with people in the design process has proven effective in unlocking problems as well as communicating proposals. 

We consider public and stakeholder consultation as a key driver to creating successful places.  Through a series of events we present questions, survey the feedback, analyse the responses and present findings that inform design explorations.  We are experienced in consulting with statutory authorities such as Historic England and planning authorities.

Coram's Fields - Community Consultation

Coram's Fields - Community Consultation

Plashet School Footbridge

Plashet School Footbridge


Our care and attention to detail is maintained from the first concept sketch to the realisation of the final detail. The pursuit of quality is not necessarily costly – our creativity and innovation has delivered extraordinary, yet cost-effective, solutions.

We are a RIBA Chartered Practice and our Architects are registered with ARB.  We operate a Quality Management System based on ISO 9001.  We are also on the UK Constructionline Register, which confirms our technical, managerial and financial standards. 

budget and programme

We recognise the importance of working to meet programme and budget from the outset to create innovative and appropriate solutions within the means and timeframe available.

We do not consider the budget and programme as limiting, rather they give a project its direction.  Through creative design we have demonstrated that award-winning solutions can be achieved within complex time constraints and within the client’s budget. 



Integral to the development of each project is our commitment to delivering intelligent sustainable architecture which contributes to sustainable communities. We ensure it is embedded from concept to completion and beyond.

We promote renewable energy and achieve the highest standards of sustainable construction, as evidenced in our RIBA award-winning work. 

We recognise that we have an effect on the local, regional and global environment and take this responsibility seriously.  Our staff cycle or take public transport to work.  We reduce paper waste and recycle wherever possible. 


Great Fens Visitor Centre

Great Fens Visitor Centre

design tools

We explore our designs through unique and exquisite drawings which investigate and communicate the project from early concept to completed design. We use a variety of compelling techniques including unique pen and ink drawings, computer line drawings and rendered visualisations. 

We make beautiful physical models, in house and externally, to explore our designs and convey the delicacy and delight of our proposals.  Exploration of form is key to our approach and we build computer models throughout the design development and to aid presentations to the client.

Our work is frequently exhibited at the Royal Academy Summer Show and, as a mark of its quality, we are unique in winning the prestigious Architecture Prize twice.  Each year Richard’s hand drawings are donated for auction by the charity Article 25 at their annual 10x10 event.

A collection of our drawings and models are displayed on the gallery walls and window display to our office to inspire the team and we are always delighted to show people around.

… and a bit of our history

Our practice was established in 1989 after winning the open competition to design Avenue de Chartres car park in Chichester, which won a multitude of awards on completion.

Before Birds Portchmouth Russum, Andrew, Richard and Mike met whilst working for James Stirling in which each led projects of exceptional quality.  This was where they also met Karl Jensen, architect, artist and partner in Birds Portchmouth Russum based in New York.

Today we are a creative office which has a dynamic mix of Directors with many years of experience and the young talent that they nurture.  The office has an atelier culture, designs are discussed gathered around the blue table and the staff are encouraged to bring creative solutions.