Radcliffe Humanities Building – University of Oxford

Radcliffe Humanities Building University of Oxford, England, Architecture, Design

Radcliffe Humanities Building : University of Oxford

Former Hospital Redevelopment, England, UK – design by Purcell Architects

26 Mar 2013

Radcliffe Humanities Building Oxford

Design: Purcell Architects

Radcliffe Humanities building shortlisted for prestigious architecture awards

Restoration of former Radcliffe Infirmary nominated for RIBA and RICS Southeast awards

The Radcliffe Humanities building at the University of Oxford has been shortlisted for a prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) award and a Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) Building Conservation award. Once the home of Oxford’s first ever hospital, the Radcliffe Infirmary underwent a £10m renovation last year.

Radcliffe Humanities University of Oxford building interior

Photos : Andy Spain

The Radcliffe Infirmary opened in 1770 and remained in use as a hospital until 2007 when its services were relocated to the John Radcliffe and Churchill. The University of Oxford sought to convert the old hospital into an academic building which would house the Humanities divisional offices, the Philosophy Faculty and the Philosophy/Theology Library.

Radcliffe Humanities Building University of Oxford interior

The Grade II* Listed hospital had previously fallen into severe disrepair, so the University commissioned local architects Purcell to restore the historic building to its former glory. The Infirmary was carefully stripped of inappropriate alterations to reveal the original Georgian architecture and carefully converted into offices, teaching/studying areas and library. Purcell carefully planned the office fit-out to not only be flexible for future changes of service – it is also completely reversible.

Radcliffe Humanities Building University of Oxford facade

Project architect, Alain Torri from Purcell commented:
“The main achievement for the project team has been to retain as much of the original building fabric as possible, reinstating parts which were lost due to the numerous alterations applied during its lifespan, while keeping the fit-out flexible and reversible and introducing the services necessary to make a building work efficiently.”

“The building is very important to Oxford and its community. It is very rewarding to see such an important part of the history of the city breathing new life.”

Radcliffe Humanities Building University of Oxford

Professor Shearer West, Head of the Humanities Division, The University of Oxford said: “The Radcliffe Humanities building provides a beautiful workspace for humanities staff, students and scholars. In its former incarnation as the Radcliffe Infirmary, the building was a central part of the community in Oxford so it is fitting that it is also now home to The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH), which aims to engage the public in the latest research and discussions in the arts and humanities.”

The RICS awards for the Southeast will be announced on 16th May 2013.The RIBA regional awards will be presented on 12th June 2013.

Radcliffe Humanities Building University of Oxford images / information from Purcell


Location: Radcliffe Humanities Building, University of Oxford, UK

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