We deliver beautiful, sustainable buildings which clients love.

What We Do

We tackle all sorts of building types and sizes, unique one-off homes, uplifting education spaces, commercial projects with design flair, luxury flats and cost-effective student accommodation:  we come to each one with a genuinely creative approach. We are one of very few practices to have satisfied the planning policy permitting only ‘truly exceptional’ country houses.

Our buildings work well. Always sustainable, they make the best possible use of the site and the budget, they please our clients and they please the public.  They are bold and uplifting on the outside, spacious and bright on the inside. They stand out but they are considerate to their context.

Our approach to design

It’s fair to say we have a design philosophy, with four common strands linking our buildings:

Why choose us

Choosing an architect is an important decision. Initial consultations are always free so please do get in touch with any questions you may have. In the meantime, here are some reasons you might consider working with Adrian James Architects.

The key players

Adrian James MA Dip Arch (Cantab) ARB RIBA
Managing Director

Trained at Cambridge University, Adrian worked on the design and procurement of exceptional buildings in the UK, the USA and Europe before settling in Oxford and starting his own studio.  As well as managing the practice and ensuring its commitment to quality in all its architectural services, Adrian leads or guides the design development of all commissions.  Adrian combines a passion for architecture with real expertise in steering projects through the planning process including, if necessary, planning appeals and public enquiries.

When he isn’t sketching he is climbing to the top of mountains the world over – and singing in the Oxford Gospel Choir.

Darren Riddle BA (Hons) Dip Arch (Kingston) ARB RIBA

Darren has come back into the AJA fold after a few years gaining valuable contractual and commercial experience elsewhere. He returns with bandwidth across many sectors and an assured mindset to help catalyse the practice’s growth.

Darren is absolutely in tune with the practice’s devotion to dynamic shape-making. He was born to the craft of architectural modelling and loves to design striking contemporary buildings which combine dramatic forms with the principles of sustainable architecture. His previous work on Oaklands and Incurvo embodies this holistic philosophy.

When Darren has any spare time from being the proud parent of two youngsters he gets physical in the gym or on the road.

Monika Palka MSc (Eng.) Architect ARB RIBA
Project Architect

We are delighted that Monika has chosen to return to AJA after spending the last few years honing her already considerable architectural skills in London and beyond. She brings an acute eye for detail and unrivalled technical expertise. Monika loves design of all sorts; interior, furniture, graphic, Japanese, Scandinavian. Oh, and she speaks six languages, sings, draws and paints.

Ruby Wilson BA(Hons) MArch (University of Westminster) ARB
Project Architect

Ruby is an essential cog in the AJA machine. With indefatigable efficiency she is managing several key projects at any time, while making sure each of her clients always gets priority. It’s a testament to her manifold skills across the design and management spectrum that she can meet all the demands of being a project architect without any compromise in service and yet with calm authority and equanimity. No wonder her previous employers want her back: she is ace.

Ruby is unstoppable in and out of the office; she runs or cycles to and from the office every day.

Jake Winter BA(hons) DipArch (London Metropolitan University) ARB
Freelance Project Architect

Jake designs and builds. He is both an experienced architect and a skilled carpenter and metalworker. As a nuts-and-bolts man he has great technical knowhow which feeds into his skill as a designer. Coming out of London, where he worked in some of London’s best practices, Jake has a track record of driving educational and residential projects through planning on tightly constrained urban sites. This experience makes him perfect for AJA.

James Ellwood Third Year Architecture Student at Brookes University
Archictural Assistant

We were delighted to welcome James to the practice over the summer as an (award winning) student of architecture. He enjoys using a wide variety of software to create images that go beyond the architectural form to give a sense of place, idea or concept. James is now back at his studies but is, happily for us, on call to develop scrummy visualisations of our projects.

Sarah Shekleton MA Oxon
Practice Manager

Sarah has already had four careers; in FMCG marketing, development, the not-for-profit sector and education.  Managing AJA is her fifth adventure and her portfolio of responsibilities covers a cornucopia of areas.  Ask her anything and she will set off at high speed to find an answer.

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