Phi reflects their design philosophy with ‘smart’ architecture, sustainable and environmentally responsible design, combined with the application of Phi Φ, the golden section, to create beautiful proportions in design. Phi is committed to cost efficient design and construction culminating in highly energy efficient solutions.

Sara heads up Phi Architects in the North West. Established in 2011, the practice, which is based in Stockport, is built on Sara’s background of low energy design with the emphasis on achieving the Passivhaus standard for construction. Sara specialises in low energy residential architecture and education buildings with an emphasis on designing for Special Educational Needs.


We think creatively to elevate our designs above the everyday. We use our flair for design along with our knowledge of energy conservation, materials and components to create highly crafted buildings through attention to detail.


Design excellence is always the priority, no matter how small your project.

If you would like to talk about your project, we offer a free initial consultation. This meeting will start to set out your brief and a scope of service can be determined. The architectural service can be tailored to suit your needs and budget, from a design only to a full architectural service including planning and building regulation packages, tendering, contractor selection and administration of the contract on site.


Sara worked for 13 years in private practice in London before moving to Manchester. After 8 years in a Manchester practice, Sara decided to set up her own practice to focus on residential developments and special education buildings.

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In previous practices, Sara gained a great breadth of experience and expertise in education, housing and sustainable design. During this time Sara has worked on buildings that have achieved a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating and a Green Apple Award ‘Gold’ standard for sustainability.

As an Associate at Walker Simpson Architects, Sara was involved in a number of education buildings, including Manchester’s largest Sure Start Centre, a Primary School in Withington and a Staff Resource and Training Centre for a campus of Special Schools and an extension to an Independent Specialist School for Students with Autistic Spectrum Conditions (ASC).

Other experience includes establishing a National Strategy for Supported Living Accommodation for an International Charity and was the project architect for a sustainable Visitor’s Centre in Stoke on Trent featured in international magazine, Detail as an exemplar sustainable building type.

Whilst working in London and as an Associate at ECD Architects, Sara was responsible for the realisation of a number of schemes at all stages in the areas of social housing, residential care, community buildings and urban regeneration. Low energy and environmentally friendly buildings were at the core of all the work of this practice. Projects included a timber frame 50 bed elderly persons’ care home with two Day centres, a residential home for young adults with behavioural difficulties and a housing scheme in Hulme, Manchester, short listed for RIBA Housing Design Awards and published by CABE as a design guide for urban housing.


  • Residential buildings
  • Education buildings
  • Design for special needs with an expertise in designing for Autistic Spectrum Disorders
  • Low energy buildings
  • Timber frame construction
  • Straw bale construction
  • Renewable technologies – PV installations, Solar Panels, Lake source heat pump, wind turbines
  • Grey water recycling
  • Heat recovery ventilation systems
  • Sedum roofs

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