D5 embrace innovation and celebrate the uniqueness in any project regardless of size. The practice is an open organisation embracing the ambition of its staff and harnessing this to the benefit of the client.

The team at D5 bring commitment, enthusiasm and experience across a broad range of sectors to the service of the client.

The client is central to the D5 approach. The quality of our architecture is a reflection of our understanding of the client, their organisation and their needs.

The team at D5 constantly aim for the responsible and considered use of materials, compositions and form to create a rounded environmental response. We aim to drive a sustainable agenda through reduced capital and revenue costs to clients to minimize the impact of development upon the environment.

We bring design quality to all projects to give the client and community the established added value good design bestows. We believe in a responsive, contemporary and inclusive built environment embracing democratic and humanistic values for the good of all who interact with the architecture.


Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Architects Registration Board (ARB)

ISO 9001 Quality Management System

ISO 14001 Environmental Management System


D5 Architects provide a fully indemnified architectural service. The practice carries £10m Professional Indemnity Insurance, £5m Public Liability Insurance and £10m Employers Liability Insurance.

Equal Opportunities Policy

D5 Architects welcome all job applicants, irrespective of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age, disability, religion or beliefs.

Educational Links

D5 Architects have a strong relationship with the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design at Birmingham City University. The practice encourages staff to take an active role in architectural education as visiting critics and tutors.

D5’s connection with the School not only gives the opportunity for qualified staff to give something back and support architectural education, it also benefits the individual and the practice to remain current with developments in architectural design theory. Madeleine Dring, Partner, is a Professional Examiner for the RIBA Part III Professional Practice course and has taught and acted as visiting critic on the post graduate RIBA Part II course for more than a decade prior to holding this post.  Team members are encouraged and supported to both teach and act as critics at all levels of the course.

D5 also supports other educational programmes that rely on contact with live projects through practice, and annually offers work experience opportunities to school students and visits local schools through the RIBA education programme.

We actively support part time student staff with a commitment to provide a range of experience and support in preparation for professional practice qualifications. This includes seminars, mentoring and whole office reviews to bring a wide range of experience to relevant topics.

The Team

The head, heart and hands of the practice are the staff. We believe in the nurture, development and exercise of aptitude and talent. The whole is greater than the sum of the parts and all staff are encouraged to connect with and realise their potential at every level.

Joel is passionate about Architecture and the built environment and aims to provide an attentive, enthusiastic, professional and creative service to clients. Following his studies at Birmingham City University he joined D5 in 1996. He’s since completed an extensive portfolio of work across multiple sectors including transportation, education, community, workplace, leisure and residential. He values time with his family & friends, enjoys music, changing of the seasons, cycling to work in the sun and generally getting out and about.

Joel Kempsey-Fagg RIBA

Joe joined D5 as an Architectural Assistant in 2015 following completion of his undergraduate studies (RIBA Pt.1) at Birmingham City University (BCU). While continuing to work at D5, he then completed his MArch Course (RIBA Pt.2) and RIBA Pt.3 to qualify as an Architect. Joe is interested in the emergence of new technologies and how these can be utilised within the architectural discipline. Aside form work and his studies, Joe is a keen traveller and festival goer.

Joseph Bowman
Senior Architect

Ian is a founding partner of D5 Architects, which was established in 1989. The practice was formed by a 5-strong group of friends to maintain and progress the design debate they had enjoyed as students at the Birmingham School of Architecture. D5 is now an established independent practice operating internationally and through-out the UK and continues to promote talented designers. Ian has an insatiable passion for Architectural practice in addition to his wife and kids, old cars, fast bikes, intuition and inventiveness.

Ian Saunders RIBA

The client is central to the D5 approach. The quality of our architecture is a reflection of our understanding of the client, their organisation and their needs

Ian Saunders

Madeleine joined D5 as a Partner in 2016. She has extensive experience in the design and delivery of learning environments at all levels, as well as in residential, community and transportation sectors. She is focused on delivering innovative, value driven solutions to all projects, providing bespoke responses to meet the needs of clients. Madeleine also holds a position as Professional Examiner at BCU. She’s passionate about her kids, travelling and cooking or any combination of the three.

Madeleine Hilton RIBA

Savita completed her degree in Architectural Design & Technology in 2015 and since then has gained valuable key experience in BIM, client engagement and producing detailed drawings. Savita is focused on efficient working methods and day-to-day problem solving to meet project and client needs. She believes successful delivery relies upon open communication, collaboration and co-ordination between a design team, which is her aim on every project. She also aims to become MCIAT, travel more and continue to make the most out of every experience.

Savita Rolia
Architectural Technologist

“Gadgets are great, but for me you still can’t beat a filofax and a good pen.”, were Martin’s words when he joined D5 Architects in 2009.

Whilst still appreciative of a good pen and notebook, Martin is now firmly focused on using technology to work collaboratively in delivering projects to recognised BIM standards. Achieving a paperless office would also be nice, and is something that Martin is attempting to do one gadget at a time.

Martin Rennie RIBA

An enjoyable working environment to create mutually rewarding business relationships

Phil Russell

Phil has many years office management experience and thrives on day-to-day challenges that the modern business world brings. Phil believes in ensuring relationships both within and outside the office are maintained and enhanced to provide both an enjoyable working environment and a mutually rewarding business relationship. Phil believes in promoting a healthy work/ life balance and enjoys life outside of work spending time with his wife and grown up children, enjoys walking with his rescue dog Charlie, sports, music and socialising.

Phil Russell

Marta is an enthusiastic designer who finds inspiration in the beauty of small details.

Marta Romera
Assistant Architect

Rachael initially completed an HPD in Interior Design before working as a residential interior designer involved in several major renovation projects in Listed Buildings. This inspired Rachael to complete a BSC in Interior Architecture at Wolverhampton University where she achieved a 1st Class Honours Degree and two CIAT awards. Rachael has since worked on student residential, education and leisure projects. Rachael joined D5 in 2018 after a two-year gap following the arrival of her son. In her free time she can be found pottering around at home or in her happy place….a tourer caravan sited in Brean!

Rachael Darby
Senior Architectural Technician

Amanuel is an experienced Technologist working for over 24 years in the industry. He studied Architecture at Addis Ababa University and has worked across Africa before moving to the UK in 2011. He is very knowledgeable in BIM, enabling him to collaborate effectively and improve productivity throughout the design process. His abilities in Revit enables him to produce 3D visualisation work as well as parametric content databases and creation of office and project templates. He also enjoys cooking and loves world cinema.”

Amanuel Habtemariam
Architectural Technologist

Richard joined D5 in 2020, bringing his knowledge and experience of residential and commercial projects to the team. He has built-up a broad range of skills working alongside developers and private clients, delivering high quality design. He enjoys working through all of the work-stages and especially enjoys the technical and practical challenges of delivering projects on-site, on-time and on-budget. Richard is a sports enthusiast and spends most of his weekends on the cricket field or golf course. He has played international cricket for Gibraltar and is a one-time marathon runner.

Richard Colyer
Senior Architect

Successful delivery relies upon open communication, collaboration and co-ordination between a design team

Savita Rolia
Architectural Technologist

Richard joined D5 as an Architectural Assistant, following his undergraduate studies (RIBA Pt.1) at Birmingham City University (BCU). He's now completing his Masters (RIBA Pt.2) at BCU on their part time Apprentice course. Whilst progressing in his journey to becoming a fully qualified Architect, he appreciates the creative development of designing, while considering how architecture can be unique while relating to, and benefitting the local area. Outside of the office, Richard’s loves engaging in new challenges and hobbies, which has led him to attempt rock climbing, surfing, martial arts and even ice hockey.

Richard Robinson
Architectural Apprentice

Join Us

Applicants should be highly motivated, be able to work within a team and have excellent design and communication skills. We aim for staff to be involved throughout the duration of a project to provide a sense of ownership for project staff and continuity of service to our clients.

We actively support part time student staff with a commitment to provide a range of experience and study tuition. We offer a range of benefits including paid RIBA & ARB subscriptions, and Part 1, 2 & 3 fees within a tailored salary.

Our office is an open and friendly working environment. Weekly whole office meetings provide a forum for debate and everyone is encouraged to comment on competitions and projects. Another area of much debate is the office play list with nearly all forms of music enjoyed!

To be considered for vacancies at the practice, please send us your CV including examples of your work, by post or email (in pdf format).