OXFORD'S dreaming spires skyline is peppered with architectural brilliance from across the centuries, says city architect Adrian James.

For more than 20 years the 54-year-old has helped shape not only the city's landscape but also the county's.

Architecture has always been in Mr James' blood as he remembers having the 'right skills', which easily directed him into the profession.

After studying architecture at Cambridge University in the 1980s, he first made his mark on the city when he decided to build his house in Osney Mead.

His practice in Mill Street soon followed suit and he has gone on to work on award-winning private homes, student accommodation and community spaces.

Mr James said it is the cacophony of architecture from across the years and periods which makes Oxford such an exciting place to work.

He added: "Oxford does have an extraordinary density of high class buildings and not just old buildings.

"People assume that architecture stopped in the 19th Century but they could not be more wrong.

"There are some from the 20th Century, which adds to the city's amazing heritage and all within walking distance of each other.

"The trick with Oxford and bringing in a new building to the skyline is to be humble but also non-apologetic and the Blavatnik School of Government is a perfect example of this.

"People go to the Guggenheim museum in Spain, they should come to Oxford too for our modern buildings."

Mr James said the city is an exciting hotbed of change, a constant project for architects.

He said: "There are about 15 major building projects going on at the moment in Oxford.

"And we have a responsibility to bring buildings that are sustainable, not only in terms of low carbon footprint but also that they last throughout the years.

"You find that if people love a building it is more likely to be looked after and last."

As well as building Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award-winning homes and projects, Mr James also takes people on 'concrete tours' of the city.

He added: "I do this for the civic society and it is a brilliant way of taking in all the remarkable buildings around you.

"It is really interesting to go round the city and see just how many brilliant buildings we have.

"I think the Radcliffe Camera is one of the great examples of neoclassical architecture not just in Oxford but in the whole of the country."

But Mr James is not sitting on his laurels, despite becoming a South East RIBA winner for a private house situated alongside the Thames in southern Oxfordshire, which he said showed how a local firm could 'run with the big dogs.'

He is now launching a spin out company called Kiss and is keeping things simple.

He said: "Contemporary, sustainable homes will be made for self builders from this company.

"Custom built houses are becoming really popular and we want to be able to give people a choice and a say when creating their own affordable home.

"They will be able to choose the kitchens, the bathrooms, making a Kiss house as individual as the person specifying it.

"We are really excited about seeing this flourish over the next few months."

For more information about Mr James' projects visit: adrianjames.com and for his new venture visit: kiss.gorilla2.co.uk/