Up North Architects is an ambitious new architecture practice founded by Patrick Thomas and Darren Keung.

From our studio in Manchester, we work across a broad range of interesting, innovative and design led projects. We are dynamic, versatile, design led and surprising.

We recognise all our clients are unique, and the UNA approach reflects the multitude of directions that our work can take. Or happens to take us.


Patrick Thomas RIBA

Patrick Thomas has over 20 years experience as a front line creative designer working in architecture, master-planning and construction. This included a 17 year period at Ian Simpson Architects, where Patrick led a front end design team working directly with Ian Simpson on a series of over 600 prestigious projects.

Patrick is proud of an art school background, and aims to bring focussed creativity to the design process. Up North Architects seeks to avoid the narrow range of conventional and expected architectural influences, and brings a dynamic and creative approach to unlock the potential of individual projects.

Patrick enjoys working directly with clients in a creative atmosphere to interrogate the the initial brief, and move quickly to establish creative concepts that lead to unique and original designs. He believes adding commercial value is a fundamental objective for architects.


Darren Keung RIBA

In 2016, Darren returned to his native Manchester from the Channel Islands, where he headed up an architecture practice on Alderney in the Bailliwick of Guernsey. As both a qualified architect and project manager [APM] - Darren has delivered a diverse range of both buildings and infrastructure projects throughout the UK and the Channel Islands.

During his career Darren has always pursued a twin interest of great design and pragmatism, doing whatever it takes to get the experience necessary to improve his experience and understanding of building and architecture. He is a great believer in ‘getting stuck in’.

Private interests have included volunteering with the Bridge2 charity, responding as an architect to assist with the implementation of charity relief works in Nepal after the earthquakes 2015. He has also undertaken humanitarian work in Calais in response to the Syrian refugee crisis.

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Kudzai Matsvai

Kudzai is a recent graduate of the University of Liverpool who grew up in London.

She is currently working at Up North as an architectural assistant and is on the journey to becoming a chartered architect.

Her interest in architecture stems from a deep love of art combined with a strong desire to help the less fortunate.

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Mark Smitham

Mark joined the firm in 2018 from a background in IT. He believes passionately that the