Derek Draper


26 Shacklewell Lane
London, E8 2NG
+44 (0) 207 923 3091


Derek John Draper, Director, Architect
Ba(hons) DipArch

Derek Draper has been drawing and making for as long as he can remember: Airfix models as a child, holiday jobs as an apprentice carpenter and, on leaving school at sixteen, training in welding and metal fabrication. It was a chance conversation in the local pub that prompted him to join Abbey Holford Rowe Architects (later Aedas) as a junior technician. Thrown in at the deep end, he not only found himself developing his technical understanding of materials, but also borrowing books to feed his growing interest in architectural design. As a result, after moving to Aedas’ London office, he began a part-time degree at the University of Greenwich to qualify as an architect. This somewhat opportunistic route into the profession has helped to define not just Derek’s approach, but also that of the practice. It begins with at an elemental level with his understanding of material characteristics and site and procurement specifics. This, along with an instinctive interest in how people inhabit space, gives his finished buildings a sense of inevitability – as well as articulating the opportunity special to any site. No matter the project type, Derek’s consuming interest in technique almost always sees him modelling a design in digital or physical space – and he is rarely found without his sketchbook.