Newly rebranded JSA Architects sets up home at Sadler Bridge Studios

Connect Derby has welcomed back its first ever tenant, as newly rebranded JSA Architects sets up home at Sadler Bridge Studios.

The firm, formerly known as Justin Smith Architects, was a tenant at Friar Gate Studios for 10 years before leaving the managed workspace scheme in 2017 for a new head office on Queen Street.

Now, with a new name and exciting plans for 2020, Justin Smith and his team have moved back into the Connect Derby fold, with a premium office space at Sadler Bridge Studios, the £4.4m three-storey building on Bold Lane.

The move comes as a result of the firm’s need for increased flexibility and connectivity and a desire to focus on its core business.

Its new dedicated space at Sadler Bridge Studios will provide this by giving the firm the opportunity to expand as required. It also provides the best connectivity in the city, with super-fast internet and wireless connectivity.

Sadler Bridge Studios, located in the heart of Derby’s Cathedral Quarter, comprises of 36 office units ranging in size from 150 sq ft to 550 sq ft. It also boasts its own café – Rask is a Scandinavian-style café which serves good-for-you food made from simple ingredients.

Commenting on the recent changes, JSA Architects founder, Justin Smith, said:

“A lot can happen in a short space of time in the built environment industry and we are excited to embark on the next phase of the company’s development.

“After searching for suitable office accommodation, it became clear that Sadler Bridge Studios was the perfect home for us – it has all the facilities we need and more.

“As we have been informally known as JSA for some time, it made sense for us to make the change official. Although we have changed our name, we are still committed to providing the same levels of excellence we have become renowned for over the past 15 years.

“Special thanks go out to Ann Bhatti for her continued support. She welcomed us when we became the first business to take space at Friar Gate Studios and has been on-hand once again to help with our relocation to Sadler Bridge Studios.”

Ann Bhatti, head of Connect Derby, added:

“We’re delighted to welcome Justin and his team back to Connect Derby. They were fantastic tenants for more than 10 years and it’s really gratifying to know that having looked for offices across the city, they still had the confidence that Connect Derby was best placed to support their continued development.

“I’d like to wish JS Architects continued success and look forward to building on our strong working relationship.”

JSA Architects was founded in 2002 and has established a reputation for its creative and sustainable approach to architecture. The practice specialises in creating innovative, inspiring and sustainable designs, including homes, offices and leisure buildings.

Along with its Derby headquarters, it also operates regional studios in Nottingham and Solihull.

In 2019, the firm won two awards at the Build Architecture Awards for the second consecutive year.

The £50m Connect Derby project includes seven managed workspaces - the iconic Marble Hall, Riverside Chambers (former Magistrates’ Court building on Full Street), Sadler Bridge Studios, Kings Chambers, Shot Tower and the iHub innovation centre on Infinity Park.

The scheme provides SMEs, micro businesses and entrepreneurs with the high specification working environment, IT infrastructure and business support they need to act as a catalyst for expansion and growth.

For further information about the Connect Derby portfolio of buildings, contact Sonia Kang on 01332 742800, email or visit

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