The unifying theme of our work is that it doesn’t deal only with broad concepts as specialist urban designers do. We design realisable central area schemes as part of a larger whole.
Hugh Dennis studied Architecture at South Bank University after a Masters in Design at Leicester Polytechnic Dept of Design and Manufacture. Before moving into architecture and design, Hugh gained a first class Building Surveying degree and won an RICS student of the year award.
Add Architects was formed by a merger of Jim Duffy Architects, and Hugh’s successful architectural practice, Urban View Ltd., founded in 1999 specialising in small and medium-sized residential, commercial and mixed use schemes.
Hugh has an intimate knowledge of the commercial drivers to create viable retail and mixed use schemes, using his experience as a property developer to inform how Add Architects can help a client maximise an opportunity without cramming or over-developing.
A focus on delivering viable schemes for developer clients is balanced by Hugh's concern to ensure the highest possible architectural quality is maintained throughout a project. This is achieved by the use of simple and elegant design concepts that can withstand the rigours of modern day building procurement.
Hugh's multi-disciplinary background enables him to identify solutions that are not immediately apparent to more traditionally educated property professionals.
Add Architects allows Hugh to bring his unique approach and insights to bear on a wide range of mixed use and town centre schemes. Jim and Hugh previously worked together as colleagues and collaborators on several major European city-centre regeneration schemes, regional centres and airports over the last two decades, Together they continue to build the capabilities of Add Architects to deliver a highly-effective service to private and public sector clients on the local, national and international stage.
Hugh is also a director of two property development companies. Rosefield specialises in downsizer homes and Little Ships is a not-for-profit social enterprise that will help solve the housing crisis by building homes on underused publicly owned land.
Jim studied Architecture at The University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and won the BUNZL travelling 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.