The Team

Trewin Design Architects has a reputation as one of the leading rural architectural practices in the South West.

The Team

The Practice includes Chartered Architects, Chartered Surveyors, Architectural and Planning Consultants, Architectural Technicians and Support Staff who are able to offer a full range of Professional Services related to building design.

We have built up a solid reputation for being able to provide practical design solutions sympathetic to the immediate environment within urban or rural settings, throughout the Southwest. There are three Directors, one Associate Director and two consultants within our practice.

James Trewin
BA(Hons) DipArch (London), RIBA Architect
Matthew Payne
David Tithecott
  • A few words from our “chief-of-colouring-in”…. I developed a passion for architecture whist being ‘dragged’ up in wild west of Cornwall. Buildings (and shoe making) are in my blood – my father being a successful designer (and before that my grandfather; a cobbler). As a young boy I watched my father at his drawing board using seductive instruments, producing exquisite hand drawings. I began working in his practice at the tender age of 13, printing plans and have now worked in the industry for over 25 years.
  • Fortunately, I found favour with my Cornish elders who decided to send me on a journey of discovery. I ventured far and wide and eventually settled in the big city to learn. And learn I did. Today as “chief-of-colouring-in” at Trewin Design, I’m involved in every part of the design process; from meeting clients, instigating ideas, through to working with the contractors on site. I’m determined to cherish and evolve the company’s successful heritage with every project that I sign off, but want to ensure a unique and original design each time too. Tradition and family ties are strong and I still share my Grandfather’s passion for well made shoes!
  • James Trewin has been in a senior role in the firm for over ten years and is a Chartered Architect who specialises in master planning of mixed use schemes. He trained at the University of Westminster gaining a distinction and also becoming an RIBA Silver Medallist. He went on to work with historic building specialists Inskip + Jenkins Architects which included the £22m restoration and refurbishment of Somerset House, London. James also worked with for internationally acclaimed Architects, MacCormac Jamieson Prichard (MJP).
  • James was instrumental in the design of the nationally acclaimed Broadclose Housing Project for 173 new homes which received the Housing Design Award for Best Affordable Housing Scheme.
  • My passion for understanding how things fit began at a young age. I would spend hours taking things apart in my father’s shed. Unfortunately I thought I could do this with everything and it was not always with the ‘householder’s permission’ and to this day I still owe my mother a Vacuum cleaner! As a result of this particular incident, a visit to casualty was necessary as one of the critical screws was missing. Fortunately an X-Ray identified the precise location of the vital screw and it arrived back with us a couple of days later! However, this experience resulted in somewhat stricter supervision was placed on me, just to make sure that the rest of the home appliances remained intact.
  • In 1993, following the successful completion of my A levels in Art, Design and Geography at Budehaven 6th form in Cornwall, I joined Trewin Design and my career as an Architectural Technician began. I was offered a traditional apprenticeship with a 4 year day release course at Exeter College, workingin a busy drawing office for and with a number of talented individuals from various backgrounds all of which were happy to share their knowledge me. You’ll be glad to know that, in the office, I have always managed to keep my desire to take things apart in check, much to the delight of our IT partners!
  • Over the years I have been lucky enough to work on many interesting and varied projects, including everything from small domestic extensions to large residential developments and commercial buildings. In the last few years my main area of work has been in the social housing sector. The fast pace, financial constraints and technical challenges make this work thrilling. In my opinion there is nothing more fulfilling than seeing a completed scheme being occupied, when you can stand back and proudly acknowledge that you were a significant part of its creation.
  • I continuously seek to improve and generate better house layouts and styles through applying my technical knowledge and practical thinking. My wife and children experience this first hand on a regular basis as I continuously shift furniture around in my own home to create new perspectives!
  • Working with a wide variety of clients, I am always thrilled when I am trusted to just ‘get on with the job’. Leaving it to the experts is something that I have now learnt to do with domestic appliances!

Unlike my fellow Directors, I was not born with a crayon in my hand, but in true team spirit, I strive to be just as creative in providing simple practical solutions to the delivery of both new build projects and to the conversion, adaptation, refurbishment, renovation and repair of existing buildings

Aided by my wry sense of humour (some apparently describe it otherwise!), I seek to create a harmonious and enjoyable work environment, forging friendly and personal relationships with work colleagues, fellow professionals and clients alike.

Here’s the small print…. As a Chartered Building Surveyor and Chartered Building Engineer, I am involved mainly with the technical design, specification and on-site delivery of projects, as well as undertaking site inspections, reports, contract administration duties, pre-purchase house surveys, and condition surveys. I am also a Party Wall Surveyor and undertake Environmental and Energy Assessments of both new developments and refurbishment projects.

I have worked within both public and private sectors and have gained invaluable experience and skills in the delivery of an extensive and diverse range of projects, throughout the South West. These include retail, leisure, healthcare, industrial and commercial developments as well as an extensive portfolio of residential developments.

I do admit to being somewhat of a perfectionist, but accept that we don’t live in a perfect world and everyone is human. I, therefore, adopt a very positive and proactive approach to problem-solving.

With over 30 years’ experience as a surveyor within the construction industry, I can honestly say that I have discovered there is more to life than just finding defects! Each project is unique and tends to throw up new challenges and it is how we interpret these and learn from them that inspires me.

Associate Director
Jason Wickett

A word used regularly when people describe me is ‘creative’ due to two of my passions outside of the workplace.

First and foremost, I am an enthusiastic self-taught baker, creating cupcakes, cakes and desserts for differing occasions, whilst drawing on my architectural training in using my attention to detail for my creations.

My other great love is gardening.  I achieve a huge sense of satisfaction in planning and designing outdoor modern spaces that can be used both functionally and for enjoyment. A small area of my own garden is set aside for some seasonal vegetable growing, with my daughters helping on occasion.

I’m a qualified Architectural Technician and a registered member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists (CIAT).  Having joined Trewin Design in 1988 as a trainee architectural technician, I feel that I have gained valuable experience and this has led to recognition as a member of the Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

I am thrilled to hold the role of Associate Director at Trewin Design Architects.  Over the last three decades I have worked on many interesting projects, for some of our most prestigious clients. The master-planning of new developments throughout the south-west is now my main focus and role within the practice, creating quality residential developments that are in-keeping with local character providing safe, attractive, liveable and sustainable environments for everyone to enjoy.

The future is looking really exciting for us and I am really looking forward to some new and challenging projects, which I’m certain our clients have lined up.


Ben Savage
  • I joined Trewin Design Architects in 2004 as a trainee architectural technologist, having previously studied engineering and Loughborough University. Since starting at Trewin Design Architects I have completed a HNC and a degree in Building Surveying at Reading University while still working full time. This combined with my experience and knowledge means I have now achieved chartered membership of the Charted Institute of Architectural Technologists and an Associate of Trewin Design Architects.
  • I have always enjoyed being involved with the latest technologies and have enjoyed the challenge that has come from moving our design system from 2D drawings to 3D computer generated models which can now be experienced in our office in the virtual world using the virtual reality headset.
  • Over the years I have worked on a wide range of different types of projects from small domestic extensions to large housing schemes and one-off prestige houses. Including several projects that have been shortlisted for LABC awards, one of which was Highly Commended.
  • Coming from a technical background I have always enjoyed looking for creative solutions to the challenges that some projects can provide.
  • In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family and developing my creative skills with gardening and photography.
Lydia Rowe
BA(Hons), DipArch, RIBA Architect
Mark James
BA(Hons), MArch, RIBA Chartered Architect 
  • Having always had a passion and enthusiasm for art and design and driven towards a profession, as soon as I had my first taste completing work experience in an architect’s office I was hooked at a young age to pursue a career in architecture.
  • After working in the North Devon area for several years I joined Trewin Design Architects in 2014 having previously worked for the practice while studying seven years prior.
  • I studied in the South West, being very fond of the West Country and not wanting to go far from the shire!! Very much a rural family country girl at heart. I rapidly progressed through the 7 years of architectural training required to become an architect, being the first in my university’s year group to become qualified in 2009 aged just 25.
  • As an architect, I am very much focused on improving the built environment through quality and innovative design solutions. I have a range of experience working on both traditional and contemporary designs largely in the residential sector. My ambition is to improve and enhance the built environment and people’s quality of life through built form, no matter the scale of the development proposed. The environment and quality of space we live in can be life-changing. My work is most rewarding when I deliver a quality scheme that improves the end users quality of living and ultimately makes people happy.
  • I like to think I break the ‘norm’ in terms of the typical misrepresented image and attitude of the architect. I focus on a friendly, positive, down to earth approach when working with my clients, always focusing on delivering high-quality service and beating expectations.
  • I am currently working on my own ‘grand designs project’ designing and building my own rural home, every architect’s dream! This is a valuable opportunity where I am experiencing all aspects of the building process. After living on site alongside the build I am very much now looking forward to moving in!!
  • Upon moving to Trewin Design I brought with me and have implemented within the practice Autodesk Revit a 3D software package. This enables our clients to interact and visually explore the 3D built form. BIM and computer technology is an ever-changing and progressive tool in our industry. At Trewin Design we like to think we are at the forefront of this.
  • When not working I mostly enjoy family time having fun with my young twin girls, who are my pride and joy.

I’ve always been a bit of a fixer, forever taking things apart and putting them back together, looking at things and asking, can that work just a little bit better? That coupled with a creative flair and an eye for detail drove me towards a creative career from an early age.

My studies started in Plymouth, keen to keep links with family and friends, but also not wanting to leave everything that the South West offers. I was then drawn, like a moth, to the bright lights and the big city, heading off to Birmingham to complete my Part 2. Wasn’t for me so once I was done back I came!

After working in a small practice in Cornwall for several years after qualification, working on a range of projects from domestic extensions through to large factory buildings, it was time for a new challenge and a slightly different outlook and I joined Trewin Design in the summer of 2016.

As an architect, I like to take a fairly logical approach to everything that I do. Typically working with quite traditional forms but giving them a modern touch through materiality and the use of modern intersections. I find that this approach can work well with existing properties and new builds, creating buildings that sit comfortably within their context but are different enough to stand out from the crowd.

Buildability is also important to me and pushed to the forefront of the work that I do. That doesn’t mean a design can’t be different or innovative, but it needs to be able to be built! Every building should work. From having a user-friendly layout to making responsible use of materials and working with its context; that means thinking about how something goes together and how it is used from build, through use and ultimately to demolition.

I have a range of experience working on projects of different sizes and in varying sectors. I am always up for a challenge and willing to apply my knowledge and experience to any project. I have also spent a lot of time in all my roles supporting the development and use of Revit within the practices, using it to help improve the design process and the service that we can offer to all of our clients.

I am currently working on the transformation of my own house. Having fought a bit of a planning battle, I am now getting my hands dirty with the big build. We will soon see how living in amongst the adjustments works out!

When not working I’m mostly building my extension or volunteer my time in one of my many Scouting roles.