The practice of Acanthus Darbyshire Architects, Chartered Architects, was established with the aim of providing an architectural service of the highest quality in all aspects of design.

The size of the practice, while large enough to ensure that considerable resources are available for major projects, is also small enough to guarantee the personal involvement of the principals throughout every commission.  The practice is also a member of Acanthus Associated Architectural Practices, a group of like-minded national practices which enables Acanthus Darbyshire Architects to offer a dedicated regional service reinforced by a national network of unparalleled skills and experience, while retaining all the advantages and personal service of an independent local practice.


The majority of commissions received are for projects in church schools and we have expertise in the analysis of education premises and all aspects of school development.  We have particular interest in, and specialist knowledge of, restoration and conservation work and have built up a reputation for sensitive new building in historic locations:  the challenge being to provide the client with practical modern accommodation while also making a positive contribution to the environment, seeing the historic setting as a source of inspiration rather than a constraint.  This has enabled the practice to produce several new buildings on the peninsular in Durham for St John’s College.  By far the most important and sensitive will be a proposed Learning Centre for the College within the Cathedral World Heritage site.





The practice has a special interest in the care and maintenance of churches and is employed by the National Trust for their properties on the Farne Islands and Souter Lighthouse.


We have carried out a wide variety of commissions, ranging from one off houses for private individuals to large scale projects for corporate clients and have won several acclaims for good design, including awards and commendations from the civic Trust and the RIBA.  In 1988 we received the prestigious RIBA Building of the Year Award, as an example of our commitment to high standards of design and execution.  Since this achievement Acanthus Darbyshire Architects has continued to receive recognition for its quality of design, which is reflected in the number of awards gained by the practice.