Cairn are architects of carefully considered low carbon buildings. Based in London and Edinburgh, we help ambitious, climate-aware clients who need environmentally sensitive solutions for challenging projects.

We are specialists in lean construction and are independent in our approach. We seek out commissions that are demanding and develop a tailored response appropriate to each situation.

We employ a rigorous process to meet our clients’ targets and reduce their risk with buildings made from natural materials that enhance their occupants’ health and are easy for authorities to approve. Achieving simple solutions is not easy; we use cutting edge design technology and carbon calculator tools alongside a unique database of sustainable construction and expert collaborators.

Weaving together the pragmatic and poetic, we work with the rational and emotional implications of construction. We make settings for everyday life that will age well, continuing to benefit a broad range of people over time.

Cairn was founded by Kieran Hawkins. Kieran is a Chartered Member of the RIBA and has been an ARB registered architect since completing his qualifications at UCL in 2010. He teaches at the universities of Edinburgh and Greenwich, helping to bring new research and best practice into all of Cairn’s projects. He is a member of the Scottish Environmental Design Association and is a Director of the AE Foundation.

Reflecting the high level of service we offer our clients, Cairn has been certified to internationally recognised ISO standards for Quality Management, Environmental Management and Health & Safety Management under ISO 9001:2015, ISO 14001:2015 and ISO 45001:2018.