De Montfort University Architecture


De Montfort University is well known as one of the UK’s leading universities. Founded in 1892 as a technical college, it is located in Leicester and is now one of the biggest universities in the Midlands. The university prides itself on its modern architecture and style and is open to many noteworthy designers who have highlighted this feature in the buildings they have created.

In the past few years, De Montfort University has become increasingly popular with architecture students due to the vast array of impressive and innovative buildings they have erected on their campus. With its mix of traditional and contemporary designs, the university has offered its graduates a range of creative solutions to the challenges of campus life.


De Montfort University’s architectural journey began in the late 1800s when it first opened its doors as the Leicester Technical Institute. This small facility soon grew into the De Montfort University of today, with numerous departments and buildings constructed over the past 114 years. Its original buildings, such as the Great Hall, remain and are one of the university’s most recognised buildings, to this day.

Over the years, De Montfort University has seen many changes in the design of its buildings. Since the 1970s, the university has adopted a more modern approach to its architecture and has commissioned iconic buildings, such as the Gateway and Vijay Patel Buildings, which have become iconic features of the university’s campus.

Features of De Montfort University Architecture

The architecture of De Montfort University buildings is designed to reflect the university’s values and to provide an environment conducive to learning. Some of the architecture features found on the campus include sustainability, energy efficiency and an emphasis on creating flexible and adaptable spaces. For example, the Gateway Building is designed to be a highly flexible space, with each floor being made from glass which allows for natural light to be absorbed into the building.

Another key feature of De Montfort University buildings is the use of modern materials and designs. The university has adopted a policy of using materials that are long lasting and are capable of adapting to the ever changing demands of modern day students. The aim of this policy is to ensure that the university remains up to date and can offer students the latest innovations in design.

Examples of De Montfort University Buildings

Some of the most popular and acclaimed buildings at De Montfort University include the Leicester Castle, the Vijay Patel Building and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Building. The Leicester Castle was designed by the renowned architect Sir Christopher Wren and is considered one of the finest examples of 17th century Baroque architecture in the UK. In contrast, the Vijay Patel building is a more modern and light weight facility, designed to minimise energy use and features such as solar panels.

The Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Building is perhaps one of the university’s most interesting and prestigious buildings. The building is a state-of-the-art lecture theatre and was the first university building in the UK to be awarded a BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method) ‘Excellent’ rating for its construction. The building contains many interactive teaching and learning facilities and is a hub of student activity.

The Role of Designers

Throughout the history of De Montfort University, the design process has been a key factor in the success of each building project. Architects and designers have played an integral role in creating the stunning architecture which has come to define the university. Prominent architects such as David Chipperfield, Sir Christopher Wren and Will Alsop have all contributed their talents to the development of De Montfort University.

One of the most renowned designers to work in collaboration with the university is Will Alsop. Alsop is well known for his work on the Vijay Patel Building, which was one of the first major projects to be undertaken at the university. It was an example of modern and innovatively designed architecture which blended well with the traditional style of the university.


De Montfort University has established itself as one of the leading universities in the UK, thanks to its attractive and innovative architecture. For its students, the university offers a unique range of modern and traditional designs which cater to the needs of the individual. Designers and architects have worked with the university over the years to create some of the most incredible and stunning buildings which make up the university today.

Technological Inputs

The architecture in De Montfort University is designed with cutting edge technology in mind. This technology helps the buildings to remain energy efficient and provide a comfortable environment for students. From intelligent lighting to Wi-Fi zones, the university’s buildings are equipped with technology in order to ensure students have a smooth and efficient learning experience.

Modern building materials and workmanship have also been used in the construction of De Montfort University. Materials such as steel frames and concrete foundations have been used to construct the buildings and ensure that they marries sustainability design with user friendly design. Additionally, the university has made use of renewable sources of energy, such as solar panels, which helps to reduce its overall carbon footprint.

Architecture Awards

The architecture of De Montfort University has been recognised by a number of awards and commendations. In fact, the university has been awarded the UAL (University of the Arts London) Excellence in Design Award and has been commended by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The Vijay Patel Building has also been praised for its environmentally friendly design and was awarded a UAL Sustainability Award. This award was testament to the commitment of the university to eco-conscious architecture and is a great achievement for De Montfort University.

Modern Amenities

De Montfort University has ensured that its design meets the demands of modern students. On site amenities such as cafes, restaurants and modern student accommodation have been added to the university in order to make student life more comfortable. Moreover, the university has provided spaces for start-ups and businesses, which encourages the development of entrepreneurial skills.

The university has also made use of the latest digital technologies, such as audio visual installations and digital display screens. These technologies have allowed the university to become a more interactive, engaging and interactive environment. Additionally, the university has provided a range of virtual reality tools and resources to help students better understand their studies.

Innovative Designs

De Montfort University has been on the forefront of innovation in architecture and design. By focusing on progressive concepts and cutting-edge technology, the university has become a pioneer in innovation. Through projects like the Vijay Patel Building, the university has demonstrated its commitment to developing cutting edge architectural designs that promote sustainability and comfort.

The university has also fostered a culture of collaboration between designers and students. This collaboration has resulted in numerous creative and innovative solutions to the challenges of campus life. By embracing collaborations between design professionals and students, De Montfort University has given its graduates an cutting edge experience in architectural design.


Ever since its inception, De Montfort University has been committed to making its architecture as accessible as possible. The university has adopted a policy of “universal design” which applies to all of its buildings and structures. This type of design ensures that anyone, regardless of any kind of impairment, can access the university’s buildings without any difficulty.

The university has also adopted principles of ergonomics which make the design of its buildings more comfortable for the user. Ergonomic design principles ensure that all the touch points of a building are designed with the user in mind. This design ensures that users are comfortable and understand how to use the space.

Community Involvement

De Montfort University also engages strongly with its local community and has integrated its architecture into the local culture. For example, the Vijay Patel Building draws inspiration from Indian architecture and culture with its domed roof, while the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Building was created with the intention of symbolising the school’s Royal connection. By involving the local community, it helps to build stronger ties between the university and the wider community.

De Montfort University has also made use of its architecture to promote social interaction. Its impressive lecture halls and seminar rooms regularly hold frequent events such as lectures, concerts and exhibitions. By providing venues where students and members of the public can meet and interact, it promotes healthy and positive relationships.


The architecture of De Montfort University is something to be admired and celebrated. Through the use of technology and modern designs, the university has crafted beautiful and innovative buildings that are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Designers and architects have played an important role in the university’s success and De Montfort University has always strived to be at the forefront of innovation in architectural design. The university has also been open to working with local communities in order to create buildings that are accessible and engaging.

Anita Johnson is an award-winning author and editor with over 15 years of experience in the fields of architecture, design, and urbanism. She has contributed articles and reviews to a variety of print and online publications on topics related to culture, art, architecture, and design from the late 19th century to the present day. Johnson's deep interest in these topics has informed both her writing and curatorial practice as she seeks to connect readers to the built environment around them.

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