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Matthew Montague Architects Refurbish Lonsdale House 25 Years On.

Matthew Montague Architects (MMA) has been commissioned by the University of Derby to prepare a scheme to refurbish Lonsdale House. Situated on the outskirts of Derby city centre on Lodge Lane, the four-storey building is home to the University's Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering and is now in need of a revamp.

This isn’t the first time that the architects practice has worked on the building. Back in 1998 when Matthew established Matthew Montague Architects, a substantial extension and refurbishment of the then head offices for Lonsdale Travel was the practice’s first commercial job. Lonsdale Travel was owned by Stuart Webb the former chairman of Derby County Football Club at the time.

It has been 25 years since that time which marks MMA’s 25th year in business. It's quite a coincidence that the first commercial project that helped launched the practice has come around again in its 25th year.

In 1998 the renovation programme included significant external extensions and associated internal refurbishments; it was then that the rotunda was added to the building. The A6 is one the main arteries into the city, we wanted to create something that would become a landmark building but also retained the traditional, heritage mill elements.

These renovations were completed in 1999 and were awarded the George Larkin Award for ‘Recognition of a significant improvement to the city of Derby’s environment.’

The 2023 renovation project has several core objectives. The first one being to create exemplar facilities for business and scientific functions. The business functions require cutting edge technology, smart space planning, with adaptable conference and meeting spaces plus a flexible hot desk area. The science and research facilities require laboratories, workshops, preparation areas and offices.

Secondly, the refurbishment will streamline and integrate business and research departments and teams in a more coordinated fashion. Lastly, the building will also serve as a showcase of the facilities and specialist knowledge of the University to stakeholders and other business industry professionals.

In terms of changes, the footprint of the building is not being extended, though there are some external changes and improvements planned, particularly around environmental and sustainability; including thermal improvements, the installation of a photovoltaic (PV) system, car charging facilities and air source heat pumps. Additional and improved windows will be installed to increase natural daylight and address temperature and noise issues, as well as giving the benefit of creating light and airy spaces.

The style of the interior will remain consistent; with an industrial-style aesthetic featuring exposed brick, natural materials, and minimalist, clean, smart, and crisp décor.

The Lodge Lane and Five Lamps area of Derby was undergoing major changes back in 1998, Milano’s, the well know Italian restaurant was demolished to make way for a road improvement scheme which channelled the traffic alongside the new rotunda, this gave Matthew Montague Architects the opportunity to have a lasting impact on the city's infrastructure.

Now, 25 years on, the practice has the opportunity to leave its mark once again on Lonsdale House, making this landmark building an even more vibrant part of the local area.

Matthew Montague Architects | Commercial Architects | Derby
Lonsdale House, Circa 1999, following completion of the original project.
Matthew Montague Architects Refurbish Lonsdale House
Current Interior of Lonsdale House
Matthew Montague Architects | Commercial Architects | Derby
Interior Visual.

If you would like advice on architectural services or planning permission contact Matthew Montague on 01335 330510 or email


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