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Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford, English University Building, UK Education Architecture Design

Masters Field Development Balliol College in Oxford

28 Sep 2022

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford

Architecture: Niall McLaughlin Architects

Location: Balliol College, Oxford, England, UK

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford

Photos by Nick Kane

Jury Report

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford, UK

Masters Field Development is a significant addition to the edge of the urban centre of Oxford, comprising 228 bedrooms along roughly 200m of streetscape in total. It also represents the development of a sophisticated visual and constructional language which allows for the degree of repetition and subtle variation that is both necessary and appropriate for a single building project of this size and in this context.

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford

A closely-related family of eight low-rise brickwork buildings is split into two groups of four by a single-storey, timber-clad cricket pavilion. Varying slightly in plan shape, proportion and orientation, the residential blocks are arranged with just enough informality to negotiate a curving streetscape, a fragment of existing pitched roof housing, and a street corner to the south end of the site. The gaps between the buildings create visual porosity between the street and the cricket pitch, and occasionally frame views of mature trees. The stacked timber roof inside the pavilion is a compelling set piece, and the yet-to-be-built lecture theatre at the bend in the road will add another layer of wider communal life and compositional difference.

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford

The elevational composition of the blocks is very considered and refined – the depth of the stepped brickwork fins means that the building changes its character as one moves around it, and the 45° piers at the corners do the same, shifting between thick and thin depending on where you stand. Internally there are fourteen types of bedroom, which are arranged in clusters around shared social spaces that are robust enough to accommodate inhabitation by successive generations of students.

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford

Repetition and variation also underpins the constructional approach, with CLT for load-bearing structure and bespoke brick-faced precast piers and lintels for the self-supporting facades. The very careful detailing, high quality materials and controlled execution create a real sense of craft rather than standardised prefabrication, and the building feels suitably robust given its enduring context.

The whole ensemble is the result of a very well-judged exercise that makes an important contribution to the life of the college and the built environment at large.

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford, UK – Building Information

Title: Masters Field Development
RIBA region: South
Architect practice: Niall McLaughlin Architects
Date of completion:Jul 2020
Date of occupation: Sep 2020

Client company name: Balliol College
Project city/town: Oxford
Gross internal area: 8,173.00 m²
Net internal area: 5,597.00 m²
Contractor company name: BAM Construction Ltd

Consultants

Project Management: Bidwells
Environmental / M&E Engineers: Harley Haddow
Structural Engineers: Smith and Wallwork Engineers
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant: Gleeds

Planning Consultant: Turnberry Planning
Civil Engineer: Smith and Wallwork Engineers
Landscape Designers: Bidwells Urban Design Studio

Awards

• RIBA Regional Award
• Regional Project Architect of the Year
• Regional Award Short List

Photos: Nick Kane

Niall McLaughlin

2022 RIBA Client of the Year Shortlist

Masters Field Development Balliol College Oxford, England, images / information received 280922 from The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)

Location: Balliol College, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, UK

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