Founding Partner retires after 26 years

In May this year, the respected architect Ian Darby retired after 26 years at the helm of the award-winning architectural practice, Ian Darby Partnership (IDP), which he founded with Mark Massey in 1988.

In that 26-year period, they have created some of the North East’s most popular housing developments at St Peter’s Basin, Royal Quays, Baltic Quays, Dunston Riverside, Staiths, Gateshead Crown Point, South Shields Riverside and Newcastle Great Park, as well designing UK headquarters for leading accountancy and HR software specialists, SAGE.

Since its launch, Ian has seen the practice grow from its original Portland Terrace location into its present home in the Grade II Listed St Jude’s Church, Shieldfield. This move led to the creation of a studio workshop environment from which a wide range of design related initiatives continue to be successfully delivered. IDP also gained a reputation for nurturing some of best talent in the region, training over 75 architects, spawning seven of the region’s current up and coming young practices, many of whom continue to work in close liaison with the firm.

As Ian bows out, IDP continues to go from strength to strength, announcing it has recently been appointed by developer Crest Nicholson plc, to prepare and deliver a Masterplan for Arborfield near Reading, a major MOD disposal which will provide over 5,000 homes together with health, education and retail amenities over the next 18 years. This follows completion of a new town extension in Daventry.

And, coupled with similar development procurements in Hampshire, Swindon and Windsor, has prompted IDP to reopen its London Office.

While the practice has a presence in the capital to deliver this demanding specialist work much of the technical overview will be delivered from the Newcastle head office.

Closer to home, IDP has been responsible for the Masterplanning behind the significant multimillion pound regeneration of Newcastle’s west end on behalf of the New Tyne West Development Company at Scotswood.

Ian Darby is succeeded in the practice by senior partner, Mark Massey and partners Roger Copestake and Keith Dillon, with Jane Massey as consultant. Mr Massey said:

“Ian’s retirement heralds a time of change and recalibration for the firm as it emerges from the recession returning to growth, and once again increases its staffing levels.”

He continued:-

“Adopting our groundbreaking “cradle to grave” approach to design and experience of working at distance is allowing the practice to benefit from the brimming M25 market whilst also benefiting from the large and capable experienced workforce in the North East. Having reviewed and overhauled our hardware and software we have returned the level of BIM capacity we enjoyed prior to the last recession. Further to this, younger members of staff are primed to play a crucial role in the next chapter of the IDP story, contributing to and managing the change. This will not only safeguard IDP’s unique design
methodology, of “going the extra mile”, it also supports our aim to become the practice of choice for both the public and private sector for the next 25 years.”