We are a family of architects who for over 40 years have been creating distinct, beautifully crafted homes and retreats in the town, the countryside, in the UK and overseas. From studios in London and Winchester our handful of projects are carefully attended to by a tight-knit team of architects and designers supported by a trusted network of professionals and craftspeople, all with a unique role to play.

We are recognised for our ability to carefully curate warmth, texture, scale and atmospheric light to give a space a unique and tangible character. Using natural materials and traditional process but in a highly crafted and contemporary way, we delight in the detail, the sensory, the tactile. Our award-winning buildings are designed to endure and we hope will continue to inspire beyond our lifetime.

We have always cared about the environmental impact we make and so are mindful to build as sustainably as possible - it’s the right thing to do. By default we specify lower embodied carbon materials and the latest sustainable technologies, and as early adopters of Passivhaus principles our buildings are high performing in terms of energy use and comfort.

Informed by local landscape, vernacular traditions and materials we like to tell the story of a place, creating buildings that enhance and speak to their surroundings and where our clients feel at home. This approach, and our wealth of experience, has led to continued success in winning planning, including a number of ‘paragraph’ houses in challenging regions such as National Parks, AONBs and listed landscapes.

We know the importance to our clients of getting it right, a home that expresses who they are and that will be enjoyed for years to come. We like to sit in conversation, hear what is important, earn trust and talk from the heart. We’re with them throughout the journey, creating individual homes that can evolve over time and are enhanced by the life that takes place within them.

The trust we put in their experience, skill and empathy has been rewarded beyond our expectations. We are now living in a beautifully designed building whose light, space, materials, and details bring constant joy. Not only this but it is an extremely functional house and sacrifices nothing for practical living.

Ed and Claire, Kent Downs

The house is imaginatively conceived, designed with understated assurance, and brilliantly executed. It fully realises the potential of its constrained yet latently characterful site.

Peter Beacham OBE, Architectural Historian, Devon Passivhaus

The materials are beautifully employed. The brickwork, its bonding and generously-scaled mortar joints a visual delight - the pierced screens at either end of the glazed wall too an inspired touch. The craftsmanship of the interior is of exemplary quality, sustained throughout.

Peter Beacham OBE, Architectural Historian, Devon Passivhaus

We are energy positive, with power generated exceeding power consumed by 40% and Co2 negative.

Nigel, Devon Passivhaus

The result has been spectacular for us - a beautiful single-story brick house that reads confidently within its setting, with a luminous footprint, built to an exquisite level of detail, prompting us literally every day to remark on how happy it makes us feel.

Stephen and Catherine, London Low Energy Passivhaus

Perhaps the best way to describe how the space and detailing make us feel is that the house is not merely calm, it is calming.

Stephen and Catherine, London Low Energy Passivhaus

The MQ approach marries very careful listening and consultation with a belief in the highest standards of design detail and accuracy of brief.

Stephen and Catherine, London Low Energy Passivhaus

We would unreservedly recommend MQ to anyone who understands the profound benefits of exemplary attention to detail, who are prepared to work alongside the team and who believe that there are no easy routes to building something genuinely good.

Stephen and Catherine, London Low Energy Passivhaus

The MQ team were exemplary in helping us through our concerns with empathy, reassurance, technical guidance and, where it counted, by standing firm on their judgements and remaining confident in their experience.

Stephen and Catherine, London Low Energy Passivhaus

We owe a measurable debt of thanks to Fiona and the MQ team. Always kind in their approach, always responsive, and always quietly assured that we would all get the house we wanted.

Stephen and Catherine, London Low Energy Passivhaus

A design of genuine quality and vision.

John Pawson, Architect, Padstow House

One of the more beautiful things I’ve ever seen.

Alain de Botton, author and broadcaster, Devon Valley House

Wise investment comes through good design, and in this case McLean Quinlan have produced another exemplary London home.

Rob Gregory, The Architectural Review, Holland Park

Overall, the building is extraordinarily well constructed, in simple, traditional materials brought together as a refined, elegant architectural language. A perfect fit for both the client and site.

RIBA Regional Awards, Kent Downs

The house wraps itself around us in a way I've never experienced with another building.

Erica, Bayswater Mews

Our house is a calm space, full of light. It is an absolute pleasure to live in.

Leni, Chiltern Hills

We are absolutely thrilled with this house...we love it all the more because we were so involved.

Abi, Devon Coast House

A remarkably consistent and friendly work of architecture.

RIBA Regional Awards, Harbour House

The project was executed with professionalism, rigorous attention to detail and to a very exacting standard. We were also thrilled that it was completed on time and on budget!

Ana and Andrew, Notting Hill

Fiona McLean

Director

MA(Hons) DipArch RIBA RIAS MCSD

Fiona McLean founded McLean Quinlan to design buildings that delight. This ethos, together with Fiona’s experience and creativity, underpins the work of the practice.

Born in Scotland and brought up in London, Fiona trained as an architect at Edinburgh University. Fiona is a member of the Royal Institute of British Architects, The Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and the Chartered Society of Designers.

Kate Quinlan

Director

BArch(Hons) DipArch RIBA RIAS

Kate studied at the Glasgow School of Art and joined McLean Quinlan in 2006.

Kate brings creative thinking and an understanding of the planning process, to help guide ambitious projects to success, even within strict constraints.

Alastair Bowden

Director

BSc(Hons) DipArch RIBA RIAS

Alastair studied architecture at the University of Bath and the Glasgow School of Art and joined the practice in 2008.

Alastair plays a key role in ensuring the quality expectations of detail and construction are met by collaborating on design and overseeing work on site.

In 2019 Alastair was awarded RIBA South East Awards Project Architect of the Year.

Tim Gentry

Associate

BA(Hons) DipArch RIBA

Tim has over 14 years experience working on projects of various scales.

Tim began his career studying Furniture Design at Loughborough University before qualifying as an Architect through the RIBA Studio. His experience and education have instilled in him a love of craft and an interdisciplinary approach to design that places great value on biodiversity and sustainability.

Will Mouland

Associate

BA(Hons) MArch RIBA

With experience of international residential projects, Will works with great detail, obsesses over quality, texture and shadow, and places great importance on local craftsmanship and materiality.

Emma Reeves

Architect

BSc(Hons) MArch PGCert

Emma studied at the Welsh School of Architecture in Cardiff. Her passion for architecture is centred around her love of craft.

She has experience in small and large scale projects working with rural and listed buildings and on community and educational projects.

Nicola Mullard

Architect

BSc(Hons) MArch PGCert

Nikki is a graduate of the Welsh School of Architecture and is passionate about sustainable architecture designed for people and their connection to the natural world.

Lorna MacLeod

Architectural Assistant

BA(Hons) MArch

Lorna graduated in 2021. Her thesis explored the history of reusing materials in construction, and how this can inform sustainable design now.

She has a keen interest and understanding of agricultural and equestrian architecture.

Robert Overton

Architectural Assistant

BA(Hons) MArch

Rob spent six years in practice prior to graduating from Kingston University with a distinction. He is interested in the creation of high-end sustainable architecture that responds directly to its local setting.

Holly Poulton

Architectural Assistant

BA(Hons) MArch

Holly studied at Nottingham and Edinburgh universities until 2020, graduating with distinction.

She was nominated for the RIAS Architecture and Design Scotland Urban Design Award in 2020.

Julia Cooper

Graphics & Communications Coordinator

BA(Hons)

Julia coordinates the studio’s internal and external graphic output and communications, including press, awards and presentations.

She has particular interests in printmaking and illustration, and is a member of the Heritage Crafts Association.

Penelope Andrews

Studio Manager

BA(Hons)

Penelope brings a wealth of experience and a unique skill set to McLean Quinlan. With a background in executive support, studio, and team management, she ensures the seamless operation and organisation of our studios.

Penelope also has qualifications and experience in carpentry and textile design and is passionate about craft.

Gail Morrissey

Finance Manager

BA(Hons) ACMA

Gail is a qualified accountant and has been working as a finance manager in the architecture and design sector since 2012.

Awards & Nominations

2024
RIBA South East Awards, Shortlist

2023
Country Life, Top 100
House & Garden, Top 100

2022
Country Life, Top 100
House & Garden, Top 100

2021
The Manser Medal, Shortlist
RIBA House of the Year, Longlist
RIBA South West Awards, Shortlist
Architect of the Year Awards, Shortlist
International Passive House Awards, Finalist
UK Passivhaus Trust Awards, Finalist
Frame House of the Year Award, Shortlist
Country Life, Top 100
House & Garden, Top 100

2020
RIBA South West Awards, Shortlist
BD Architect of the Year Awards, Shortlist
AR House, Longlist
Dezeen Rural Home Award, Shortlist

2019
RIBA South East, Project Architect of the Year
RIBA South East Award, Winner Kent
RIBA South East Award, Winner West Sussex
New Forest National Park Building Design Award, Winner
BD Architect of the Year Awards, Finalist
LABC Building Excellence Awards, Regional Finalist

2018
AIA Excellence in Design, Finalist
BD Architect of the Year, Shortlist
Dezeen Awards, Longlist
Wood Awards, Highly Commended

Press & Publications

2024
Taschen, Sustainable Houses
House & Garden, Downland Barns
House & Garden, Top 100
The Modern House, Devon Passivhaus
Grand Designs, Devon Passivhaus
Enki, Woodland House
House & Garden, The List
Architecture Today, Downland Barns

2023
House & Garden, Chiltern Hills
Est Living, Jackson Hole
House & Garden, Top 100
Dezeen, Jackson Hole
Bloomsbury, Queer Premises
Country Life, Top 100
Homebuilding & Renovating, Devon Passivhaus
Archinect, Harbour House

2022
Phaidon, Rocky Mountain Modern
RIBA, 21st Century Houses
Wallpaper*, Jackson Hole
AD, Jackson Hole
The Spectator, Devon Passivhaus & Kent Downs
The Times, Chiltern Hills
Dezeen, Jackson Hole
Dezeen, Devon Passivhaus
Hauser, Devon Passivhaus
Living Etc, Snake River Cabin
Enki, Devon Passivhaus
Enki, Snake River Cabin
Nuvo, Padstow House
House & Garden, Top 100

2021
Country Life, Fiona McLean
Domus Nova, Devon Passivhaus
Elle Deco, Devon Passivhaus
FT, Devon Passivhaus
House & Garden, Top 100
Plain, Snake River Cabin
Self-Build & Design, Devon Passivhaus

2020
Dezeen, Devon Passivhaus
Living Etc, Devon Passivhaus
RIBA Journal, Devon Passivhaus

2019
Enki, profile on McLean Quinlan

London

1 Milliners House, Riverside Qtr.
Eastfields Avenue SW18 1LP

+44 (0)208 870 8600

Winchester

The Corner, Gordon Road
SO23 7DD

+44 (0)1962 842520

RIBA Chartered Practice

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