Florey Building Designs, Oxford Architecture Contest, James Stirling British Masterpiece, News

Florey Building in Oxford Designs

Modern Architecture in Oxfordshire, England, by Big Jim – renewal design by Avanti Architects

27 May 2016

Florey Building Oxford Approval

Approval for Florey Building Design by Avanti Architects

Avanti’s proposals to re-habilitate the Florey Building has been approved by Oxford City Council, report the architects. The conservation led scheme which received wide support from Historic England, Oxford Design Review Panel and a range of Oxford Amenity Societies addresses many of the deficiencies of the design whilst strengthening the original organisation of the building.

Florey Building Design by Avanti Architects

The setting of the building has been improved through removal of a car park and enhanced public realm. Additional rooms have been created without altering the original building form and a discrete new build annexe provides additional support facilities.

Avanti Director Amir Ramezani explains ‘The Florey Building has generated a large amount of public interest and the college have been meticulous in safeguarding the future of the building in a balanced, sensitive and sustainable way.’

16 Apr 2016

Florey Building Oxford Architecture Foundation Masterclass

The Architecture Foundation Masterclass at Oxford Modernist Landmark

The Architecture Foundation is inviting applications to join a masterclass, which will be staged in the James Stirling-designed Florey Building at The Queen’s College, Oxford.

Six studios will consider the typology of the university, through the development of a speculative design over the course of four days (Sep 8 -Sep 11). The studio leaders will present lectures over the course of the masterclass while the Drawing Matter Foundation will stage an exhibition drawn from its holdings of 1960’s architectural drawings. On the evening of September 12th, the studios will present their projects at a public event at London’s Barbican Arts Centre.

We welcome applicants at all stages of their career but they must be individual Architecture Foundation members, employees at Architecture Foundation member practices or Architecture Foundation student members.

To apply, please submit an illustrated four-page A4 curriculum vitae in pdf format. The deadline for submissions is Monday 9th May at 10.00 pm. Successful candidates will be informed by Friday 20th May and will be required to pay the full fee by Wednesday 1st June.

Where: The Florey Building, The Queen’s College, Oxford, OX4 1DW

When: Delegates will arrive on the evening of Wednesday September 7th and leave by 10.00 on the morning of Monday September 12th 2016

Fee: £458+VAT (The fee includes bed and breakfast within the Florey building and a three course dinner in the Queen’s College’s Hall on the evening of September 7th.)

Studio 1. Kersten Geers

Studio 2. Stephanie MacDonald and Tom Emerson

Studio 3. Emanuel Christ

Studio 4. Andrew Clancy and Colm Moore

Studio 5. Go Hasegawa

Studio 6. Oliver Lütjens and Thomas Padmanabhan

22 Feb 2016

Florey Building in Oxford

Designs for Renewal of Oxford Modernist Landmark

Critics have slammed designs by Avanti Architects to squeeze an extra 25 rooms into James Stirling’s Florey Building in Oxford and create a new two-storey annex building, reports the Architect’s Journal.

The plans to reconfigure the 1971 student residences building – the last of Stirling’s so-called ‘red trilogy’ – have been submitted to Oxford City Council on behalf of the building’s owner, Queen’s College.

Florey Building in Oxford Designs by Avanti Architects
image from architects

But the proposals for the Grade II-listed building, which involve some internal demolitions, have received a frosty reception from experts on Stirling’s work.

Alan Berman, founding partner at Berman Guedes Stretton, said: ‘Years ago I suggested the college would do well to appoint Avanti, whose Modernist restoration work is exemplary, so I was delighted they won the competition.

Ref. Florey Building in Oxford Designs

The Queen’s College announced the six teams invited to submit proposals to update the Grade II listed Florey building on 19 Nov 2013, in order to provide modern facilities and achieve exemplary energy design.

The project is the subject of a two-stage design competition launched in August 2013.

In alphabetical order, the team leaders are:

Avanti Architects
Feilden Clegg Bradley
HawkinsBrown Architects
John McAslan + Partners
Levitt Bernstein Associates
Nicholas Hare Architects

View showing the raised glass facade wrapping the social courtyard:
The Florey building Oxford
photograph © James Brittain

The Florey, now forty years old, is regarded as one of the great post-war modernist buildings in Britain. It is among the few surviving works of the architect James Stirling, acclaimed as the most brilliant designer of his generation.

Florey Design Competition : page

5 Sep 2013

Florey Design Competition Oxford

Oxford Modernist landmark to be restored and updated

The Queen’s College seeks a dedicated team to restore and add new facilities to James Stirling’s modernist masterpiece, The Florey building, which is Grade II listed.

Admired worldwide for its boldness and heroism, the Florey has been beset with infamous technical and practical failings since it opened forty years ago. Despite this, the building has remained largely popular with undergraduates for its sociable spaces and views of the river setting. Queen’s College Home Bursar, Dr Linda Irving-Bell says the College is determined to fulfil Stirling’s original vision:

Queen’s has the benefit of the long view now. The Florey is emblematic. With hindsight, the building was way ahead of the original, available technology but with recent innovations, many of the problems can be addressed. Queen’s wants to conserve and upgrade the building and set an example in energy design and sustainability.’

View of the Florey Building from St Clements car park:
The Florey building Oxford
photograph © James Brittain

Malcolm Reading, competition organiser, commented:
The building was the product of two titans of modern culture, Lord Florey, who wanted a distinguished building to attract the best minds and James Stirling, who was regarded as the most brilliant architect of his generation.

‘This is a fascinating project because it needs to balance a respect for Stirling’s original vision with a high-quality upgrade of fabric and services.’

Entrance to the raised courtyard from the cloister:
The Florey building Oxford
photograph © James Brittain

Florey Design Competition image / information from Malcolm Reading Consultants (MRC)

Florey Competition Oxford – Background

The Queen’s College, one of the oldest constituent Colleges of the University of Oxford, was founded in 1341 by Robert de Eglesfield, a chaplain in the household of Queen Philippa of Hainault, who named it in her honour. Parts of the current College date back to the 17th century and replace the earlier medieval College buildings that had fallen into disrepair in the 16th century. The Baroque Front Quadrangle has been called ‘the grandest piece of classical architecture in Oxford’ and was heavily influenced by Nicholas Hawksmoor. Since the late nineteenth century Queen’s has developed a strong academic reputation and recently endowed a scholarship in memory of the Iranian student, Neda Agha-Soltan. Today, although candidates from all possible backgrounds are welcomed and northerners no longer have preference, the College remains conscious of its history and traditions and values its ancient links with Cumberland, Westmorland and Yorkshire.

The Florey Building (1971) was designed by James Stirling, one of the most inventive and often controversial, British architects of the post-war period. The building, which provides accommodation for undergraduates and postgraduates, was commissioned by Lord Howard Florey, the Queen’s College Provost and a Nobel Prize winner, who sought ‘the best building by the best architect to attract the best students and also research funding’. Architectural historians often group the Florey with Stirling’s other two university buildings of this phase of his career: The Engineering Department at Leicester University (1959) and Cambridge University’s History Faculty and Library Building (1964). However, the Florey remains distinctive in its response to context: the river setting, endlessly captured and replayed in its glittering, faceted courtyard façade.

The American critic, Amanda Reeser Lawrence in her book James Stirling Revisionary Modernist has described the Florey’s design as, ‘…perhaps the purest moment of release – Stirling’s “wildest” moment, in which he strays further from anything else in either his own work or the work of others.’ The annual Stirling Prize for Architecture commemorates James Stirling’s original talent and is now Britain’s leading architectural prize. English Heritage listed the Florey Building Grade II in 2009.

James Stirling Architect

Address: The Florey Building student accommodation, 23 St Clement’s Street, Oxford, OX4 1AB, England

Location:The Florey Building, 23 St Clement’s Street, Oxford, OX4 1AB, England

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Florey Design Competition : page

Website: The Queen’s College, Oxford