About us

At Clarke and Whalen Architects we develop unique and contextual architecture which harmonises with its surroundings. With no predetermined design style, we are able to adapt to each individual project, responding to client’s tastes, specific requirements and the setting. Our reputation supports our ability to apply care and skill when designing and realising commissions based in sensitive locations, including Listed Buildings, sites in Conservations Areas, Green Belt locations and in Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

John Whalen (Founder and Director)

BA Hons, BArch, ARB, RIBA

John Whalen is the founding partner of Clarke and Whalen Architects Ltd and is responsible for all practice matters. John has served two terms as Chairman of the Hertfordshire Association of Architects and is still an active committee member. He has acted as a visiting design tutor to the University of Bedfordshire architecture course and is a consultant to The Letchworth Garden City Heritage Foundation.

John is also known to grace the golf course, when time permits.

Michael Hessey (Director)


Michael Hessey joined Clarke and Whalen Architects Ltd in 2001 as has been a Director since 2008. As well as being an ARB registered Architect, Michael has a Master in Planning and has a proven track record for delivering projects of varying scales.

Michael is the marathon man of the office, having now completed multiple marathons around Europe.

Adam Robbins (Director)

BA Hons, MArch, ARB

Adam Robbins joined Clarke and Whalen Architects Ltd in 2011 as a student but is now a registered Architect and the newest Director in the Clarke and Whalen team. Adam has hands-on experience, having been a carpenter in his previous career. He has a passion for residential design, architectural detailing and is an admirer of all things sustainable having explored Resource Efficiency as part of his Masters course. Adam has worked on some of the larger projects in the practice.

Adam is a keen cricketer and a follower of all sports, he also combines his architectural skills with his hands-on carpentry skills, building some of his own personal projects.

We also have admin and architectural staff who assist with each and every project who are vital to the running of our architectural practice.