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NEW CROSS ROAD

THE HQ

GARNHAM STREET

MILTON COMMON

HOLME

WESTON HALL

BYRON STREET

BEECH HILL

ST. OLAVS

MAY GURNEY

AN ARCHITECTURAL PRACTICE.

Sometimes less is more, sometimes it isn’t. Knowing the difference is what makes us different.  At Dowen Farmer Architects we don’t have a style – a signature look that we somehow crowbar into every response to every brief. Instead we have a style of working: one that is less about us and more about you. Founded in 2017 by James Dowen and Tom Farmer, one from Benoy, the other from Heatherwick, we are a team of problem solvers stacked with commercial grit and creative edge – committed to a working process that means we always deliver more and you don’t ever have to settle for anything less.

Understand
We start from a position of strength because we have hands-on experience of what it takes to build things, from inception to completion. Talk to us and you can trust we’ll be listening in the right way, picking up on the right details, asking the right questions, digging beneath the surface of the brief to stress-test every assumption and establish fundamental truths.
Collaborate
Work with us and you’ll be tapping into the creativity of our entire studio. We work with a collective, non-hierarchical dynamism – every team member empowered to bring their own passions, throwing ideas at a sketch wall, responding to them, challenging them, refining them. Then we model our ideas at speed so that options can be tested, stakeholders engaged, and viable, tailored, exciting solutions identified.
Commit
No project is truly design-led if you have separate teams for concept and delivery: we are a single team of what used to be called ‘master builders’, capable of creativity both on site and off. This continuity of commitment across the lifespan of a project is what makes us quick on our feet, invested in the outcome, and straightforward to work with.
Craft
We get our kicks from the process of building – from applying our years of hands-on experience to ensure that the ideas we commit to paper become ever more finely crafted as they approach their real-world form. It’s this practical under-the-hood know-how that enables the conceptual quality of our work to shine, and gives us the edge when it comes to successful delivery.

Residential

Commercial

Mixed Use

Workplace

Retail

Industrial

And we do more

Residential, commercial, retail, industrial, public realm, interiors, heritage. Any project. Any scale. Anywhere.

We are everything our track record says we are.

Designers, masterplanners and builders. With the vision to get projects started, the technology to speed them forward, the know-how to keep them on course, and the staying power to see them over the finish line.

We are a practice powered by practical experience, where we know which davit will cut it, and which soffit won’t. Where our hard hats double as thinking caps, and the ideas get brighter as our hands get dirtier.

Where sites aren’t places we visit, they’re places we work – and have worked for years – building up the kind of nuts-and-bolts know-how that makes a material difference. To our designs. To our productivity. To our clients.

Making life simpler, not harder. Causing fewer headaches. Hitting more nails on the head.

We don’t have a style – a signature look that we somehow crowbar into every response to every brief. Instead we have a style of working.

Because we believe good work comes from being good to work with. Offering expertise not ego. Talking straight. Thinking flexibly. Saying what we’re going to do. Doing what we promised.

Always imagining, exploring, refining. Energised by possibilities. Mining the raw material of every brief until the right fully crafted response emerges. Durable, valuable, undeniable. A source of lasting pride for our client. Good to work with. Easy to work with. Fun to work with.

We love what we do at Dowen Farmer Architects. And we believe that’s why you will too.

 

Sean Martin
Sean has previous experience working in large studios including Scott Brownrigg. He graduated from Manchester School of Architecture obtaining a First-Class Honours in his Masters of Architecture degree. With extensive technical experience and an ability to run multiple large scale jobs in the office, he has the ability to work across all RIBA Stages. Sean originates from the North West and is a lover of everything that is sport and music and if he is not keeping Remy out of trouble, he can be found running the parks of South London. Sean makes the strongest coffee in the studio by a factor of 5.
Gian Virdi
Gian graduated at London Metropolitan University and The University of Bath where he was nominated for the RIBA Silver President’s Medal and The Architects Journal Student Prize. Prior to working at Dowen Farmer Architects Gian has worked at award winning London practices with experience working on a Grade II* Listed Chapel, multi unit residential schemes in London and a £500 million redevelopment scheme in the heart of Mayfair.

As someone who’s not afraid of voicing his opinion, Gian strives to bring craft and user experience to the heart of projects, caring as much about how a scheme fits in its context as he cares about how people experience the smallest interior detail. When Gian's not working you can probably find him trying to expand the studios Spotify playlist or sipping a margarita on one of the many sunny rooftop bars Peckham has to offer.
Zoe Ingram
Zoe is a designer at Dowen Farmer. Prior to DFA Zoe studied at Newcastle University, where she gained a first class honours in her Part One. Zoe has a passion for community driven architecture and enjoys working on sculpting public realm around urban areas. Zoe has significant experience working on back land garage sites, and brings a wealth of experience from growing up in a multitude of metropolitan cities around the world. As a serious dog lover, Zoe has become a notorious office dog sitter and can often be seen on evenings walking the streets of Islington, with someone else's dog!
Jake Cortis
Jake is the in house artistic expert with a keen interest in how architecture sits within the landscape. Jake has worked across a variety of scale projects at DFA and has a passion for photography, sketching and all things architecture. Jake currently has the Maltese equivalent of a BA & MA in Architecture. In his past life in Malta, Jake ran a series of house music events and is the in house DJ in the studio. Jake is the nicest person DFA have ever employed.
Freyja Clarke
Freyja has experience in a series of award winning studios including Stanton Williams and Allies & Morrison. With almost 7 years’ experience acquired in a range practices and projects, Freyja has enjoyed being able to exercise the range of skills that the multifaceted role of the Architect requires, balancing a passion for presentation and model-making against technical skills. Gaining a first class degree at both Part I and Part II at the University of Bath, Freyja has exceptional design ability, which is utilised across the breadth of project sectors. In recent years Freyja has honed her technical and construction knowledge as well as knowledge of BIM and existing buildings whilst working on the £36m refurbishment and extension of a Grade II* listed building in Oxford. Freyja heads up a team of over 100 iron-women and is a serious athlete, with a passion for running ultra marathons during the night, in the office PPE!
Paul Bailey
Paul has experience in a series of large studios including BDP, where he was a senior project runner involved in a number of complex large scale schemes. Key sectors of experience include Residential, Education, Healthcare, Science & Technology, R&D, Retail and Heritage. Projects include designs for new lab and research facilities at the John Innes Centre, 900 bed student housing scheme, refurbishment and extension of a listed prominent School in Kent. Also involved in both the Restoration and Renewal project at the Palace of Westminster and delivering stakeholder engagement for the Parliamentary Estate Masterplan. Paul, like his dog Fez, is F A S T (2h48m mara PB!), and has won a number of local races, most recently taking home a crate of Stella for his efforts.
Finch
Finch is head of Business Development at Dowen Farmer. Finch’s large soft floppy ears are excellent for listening, to ensure she understands what our clients want. As Head of Business Development Finch has an uncanny ability to win clients over. As a working Cocker Spaniel, Finch is at the coal face of production in the office, never shying away from getting her paws dirty, and at the end of a hard day loves nothing more than a glass of pawsecco and a pigs ear.
Tom Farmer
Tom is a co-founder of DFA and an architect overseeing the design and delivery of a number of U.K. based projects. His extensive experience includes working at Heatherwick Studio on the design and construction of a wide range of projects from high end residential towers to public art and furniture design. Prior to this, Tom has delivered residential, retail and masterplanning schemes both in the U.K. and overseas. Tom specialises in the design, coordination and delivery of complex projects through the use of fully coordinated 3D digital models, working closely with consultants and contractors to detail and realise extraordinary architecture. Tom sits under Andrew, in the beige food camp, and although claims to be a man who has travelled the world with an extensive and sophisticated palate, is usually found nibbling anything from the Greggs menu at lunchtime.
Claire Kennedy
Claire Kennedy is a project architect with a wealth of experience in the residential sector, ranging from 300 unit affordable homes to one off high end dwellings in Belgravia and Chelsea. Claire has extensive experience with “Listed Buildings”, including the regularisation of unauthorised works. Claire has over eight years’ experience running complex jobs and managing teams including high end residential projects for Susan Walker Architects, FBM and Farrells, working for high profile clients with very exacting specifications and high expectations. Claire's extra curricular interests include dogs, food, holidays and shopping- lots of shopping.
Andrew Brown
Andrew is a designer and in-house visualiser at DFA. With a wealth of knowledge that spans across BIM, Studio Max, Adobe Suite amongst other programmes, Andrew enables DFA to quickly test design concepts and visualise them, allowing clients to be a key part of the design process as it unfolds. Andrew also heads up the 'beige' department, as a serious food lover of all nutritious delicacies, any shade of yellow, from pasties to penne.
James Dowen
James is a co-founder and architect at DFA with experience gaining planning for and delivering a variety of complex high end residential and retail projects within Central London. Prior to DFA, James gained commercial, masterplanning and mixed-use experience at Benoy Architects. Having studied at the University of Newcastle and gaining First Class Honours for both undergrad and masters degrees, as well as winning several design awards including the “HB Saint- William Bell Memorial Prize” and nominated for the “RIBA Hadrian Award”, James went on to win the ‘BCSC Gold award refurbishment over £5 million’ for the retail/town centre regeneration work undertaken in Woking Town Centre. Outside the office its all about food, and sometimes inside the office too; James heads up the non beige food front in the office alongside Sean, pioneering for foods of all colours, flavours and textures. James has also been spotted in Greggs.

Remy
Remy is a working Cocker Spaniel and being the youngest member of the studio he always brings the energy, even on a Monday morning. As head of waste management and recycling, Remy is always finding innovative ideas for discarded packaging and you can always find him with his head in a bin.
Fez
Fez is the studios' 40MPH couch potato. With an uncanny ability to speak human and dance on the toes of Paul, we sometimes question just how much canine there is in Fez...
STUDIO
Offering expertise not ego. Talking straight. Thinking flexibly. Saying what we’re going to do. Doing what we promised. Getting stuff done, well.

Past Collaborators:
+ Gabriella Togni
+ Evelyn Jessuraj
+ Paul Robinson
+ Mary Konstantopoulou
+ Lucca Ferrarese
+ Aleks Gutkowska
+ Killian Duyn
+ Lucy Blackstone
+ Neil Tanner
+ Judith Kelemen

CLIENTS & COLLABORATORS

The Crown Estate

National Highways

Henry Construction

Knotel

Southern Grove

Aitch Group

Carter Jonas

Serruys Property

Capstone Group

Cityline Group

Artform Group

U + I Group

The Park Hill Group

Cameron Hall Developments

V-Fund

Dephna Group

Prime Resi

Nero

Viron Group

TS Developments

Urban Provincial

Pavehall

Infradev

First Construction

Next Gen Real Estate

SMC Property

Volcano Coffee

Kitewood Estates

Stay Generator

Merrick Real Estate

Harrington Land

Venterra Developments

Manak Homes

Casa Bella

Blank Canvas

Silverback Equity

The Crown Estate

National Highways

Henry Construction

Knotel

Southern Grove

Aitch Group

Carter Jonas

Serruys Property

Capstone Group

Cityline Group

Artform Group

U + I Group

The Park Hill Group

Cameron Hall Developments

V-Fund

Dephna Group

Prime Resi

Nero

Viron Group

TS Developments

Urban Provincial

Pavehall

Infradev

First Construction

Next Gen Real Estate

SMC Property

Volcano Coffee

Kitewood Estates

Stay Generator

Merrick Real Estate

Harrington Land

Venterra Developments

Manak Homes

Casa Bella

Blank Canvas

Silverback Equity