Jim studied Architecture at The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and won the BUNZL traveling studentship prize in his final year.
Jim Duffy has operated at the leading edge of the urban regeneration movement, particularly in regard to retail-led projects. Hugh Dennis is a former colleague and long-term collaborator through his practice Urban View. It therefore was a natural fit to merge Jim Duffy Architects with Urban View to form Add Architects.
The projects he has been involved in vary widely in their brief and geographical location, including schemes in Rome, Milan, Madrid, Paris, Florida, Abu Dhabi, Helsinki, Malta, and Vienna. However, the essence of his skill is the ability to analyse complex starting points with multiple stakeholders and delivering integrated solutions that make sense to all the participants. His role has been to ensure that the end-user experience, from the master-plan down to the last detail, is understood by all and woven into the fabric of the overall design. He also has a keen understanding of the development process and a knack for balancing competing complex requirements. In the current economic climate, it is also vital to control mix–of-uses, lot size, divisibility, and phasability in order to allow the project to happen in a profitable way from the outset.
This has sometimes led to Jim being the instigator of major projects such as Grand Arcade, Cambridge which he nurtured from a sketch idea in his drawer to involving a developer, fund and John Lewis. This led to Jim obtaining full planning permission in 2000, for a 500,000ft2 new-build scheme surrounded by Grade 1 listed buildings.
Jim has acted as a competitions assessor for the RIBA and a particular success in this role is writing the brief for London’s Borough Market and selecting the right Architects to deliver a seamless and authentic transformation from a run-down wholesale market to the vibrant and unique place it is today.
Jim is also a director of Rosefield, a property development company that specialises in downsizer homes.