Experienced chartered architect joins Cassidy + Ashton

By Tim Aldred

01 May 2024

Cassidy Ashton Darren Pickens With Lawrence McBurney

Architectural, planning and building surveying practice Cassidy + Ashton has appointed chartered architect Darren Pickens to its Preston office.

Darren previously worked at Campbell Driver Partnership in Blackburn, where he had an extensive professional career, leading to a senior role as practice director.

He has a wide range of experience spanning several sectors, including hospitality, leisure and commercial as well as working on large private housing projects. He also has a passion for heritage and conservation projects, recently leading the architectural work on the £9m refurbishment of Grade II listed Langdale Chase Hotel, Windermere.

Darren’s appointment at Cassidy + Ashton comes at a busy time for the practice as it enjoys one of its most successful periods in its more than 60-year history.

In his role as senior chartered architect at Cassidy + Ashton, Darren will lead on projects throughout the design and technical stages collaborating closely with our design team as well as fostering strong client and contractor relationships. 

Lawrence McBurney, director at Cassidy + Ashton, said: “We continue to grow as a practice and expand our client portfolio. We have had a very strong start to 2024, particularly building our portfolio in the higher education sector with a number of key projects for universities in the pipeline, along with the major refurbishment at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Grosvenor West building which is nearing completion.

“Our team is built around bringing people in at all skill levels from trainees through to graduates and qualified professionals. Attracting and securing senior people like Darren is an important part of the development of our whole team. Darren brings to Cassidy + Ashton valuable practice experience and a wealth of design and technical knowledge. He will be an integral part of the senior design team and has already made a great start.”

Darren qualified as an architect through the Royal Institute of British Architects’ (RIBA) RIBA Studio which is administered by Oxford Brookes University. He received a distinction in design and the RIBA Student Prize in 2014.

He is a member of the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and RIBA and listed on the RIBA’s Conservation Register and is seeking to further his conservation experience to become an accredited conservation architect.

Darren said: "While I feel I have a lot to offer given my practical experience, I am also a firm believer in continued progression and learning throughout my career. I see joining Cassidy + Ashton as both a new challenge and an opportunity to fulfil my potential within a collaborative, forward-thinking environment."

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