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Students Inspire Urban Transformation in City Masterplan Competition.

Architectural students at the University of Derby recently participated in a design competition aimed at reshaping the urban landscape as part of the urban transformation in the city masterplan. The competition saw six teams of first and second-year students presenting their visions for revitalising an unused area at Bridge Street and Little Bridge Street.

The University of Derby has been actively engaged in ambitious expansion plans in collaboration with Matthew Montague Architects, focusing on prominent areas around One Friar Gate Square, Ford Street, Bridge Street, Agard Street, and Nuns Street. The Masterplan includes the development of an Academic Zone and an Enterprise Zone to enhance connectivity across the University's campuses.

During the competition, students were tasked with conceptualizing and designing a public space within the Masterplan, with their designs reflecting innovative approaches and sustainable design principles. Key stakeholders, including representatives from the University's Estates department and Matthew Montague Architects, were impressed by the students' creativity and vision.

Daniel Evans, an Architect at Matthew Montague Architects, praised the students for their inspiring work, while Dan Illsley from the University's Estates department commended the students for their dedication to landscape, creativity, functionality, sustainability, and accessibility. Lecturer in Architecture, Valeria Carnevale, expressed excitement about the real-world application of the students' design skills and their contributions to the city's development.

The students' designs featured a variety of potential features for the public realm, such as an amphitheater, event spaces, areas for food vendors, and interactive elements like a maze, all designed with a focus on biodiversity, inclusivity, safety, and community engagement. This revitalized public space will play a crucial role in connecting the Academic and Enterprise Zones within the Masterplan, creating a vibrant urban environment.

As construction progresses on the University's Business School, efforts are being made to bring elements of these innovative designs to life, fostering a dynamic and engaging urban landscape for all. A planning application is set to be submitted to Derby City Council in the near future to further advance this transformative project.

Architectural students receiving their awards for a design competition to design a community space.

Students receiving their awards.

Overgrown, disused area at Bridge Street and Little Bridge Street in Derby that is part of urban transformation in the University of Derby's city masterplan

The site at Bridge Street and Little Bridge Street.

The winning design by students. A green bridge over the brook, with a stone wall, seating and green planting.

The winning design.

If you would like advice on architectural services or planning permission contact Louise Jones on 01335 330510 or email


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