University of Oxford Departments of Experimental Psychology and Biology Building, English Architecture
Wadham College Buildings at the University of Oxford
14 Apr 2021
Location: Oxford, England, UK
Major New Buildings For Wadham College
Wadham College Buildings
Two new buildings, the William Doo Undergraduate Centre and the Dr Lee Shau Kee Building, designed by architects AL_A at the centre of Wadham College’s historic Oxford site will be inaugurated this month.
The new buildings will create a state-of-the art Undergraduate Centre on the Wadham site, as well as an Access Centre to accommodate the increasing number of visiting school students attending access and outreach events such as summer schools and aspiration days. The Undergraduate Centre is a recognition of the huge importance of social spaces in today’s universities. The centre combines a junior common room, café and bar and beautiful daylit work areas.
The Access Centre is an ambitious investment in the future. The building that prospective students will call home for three or four days at a time is designed to encourage pupils from all backgrounds to aspire to an Oxford education. On the ground floor is a suite of light-filled seminar rooms and a music room while the top floors contain student accommodation.
The development, built by Oxford based builders Beard, is part of Wadham’s Access to Excellence programme where students are supported at every step of their educational journey, from the moment they consider applying to University, through their time at Oxford and on into their careers.
Amanda Levete, Principal, AL_A, said: “These two buildings are designed to radiate openness. Modest in scale, but high in aspiration, they express the liberal and egalitarian values of the College and create a sense of belonging for students and staff. Reflecting changes in the way students work and socialise, they are open and transparent, and use the life of the College to animate the buildings.”
Warden of Wadham College, Ken Macdonald QC, commented: “These wonderful new buildings make real our twin desires: to reflect the beauty of our ancient site and to symbolise our College’s determination to engage with confidence in the promise of the modern world.
The William Doo Undergraduate Centre and Dr Lee Shau Kee Building now stand as graceful and pure marks of our continuing belief in the harmony that exists between learning and beauty, which our quadrangles, lawns and gardens express so well, and which AL_A have captured with such skill and sensitivity.”
Founded in 1610 by Nicholas and Dorothy Wadham, the College now comprises up to 250 graduate students and some 450 undergraduates. Wadham’s architectural heritage spans a variety of building styles from the classical Oxford Gothic of the original buildings to the new development by AL_A inaugurated in 2021.
AL_A is the award-winning architecture studio founded in 2009 by the RIBA Stirling Prize-winning architect Amanda Levete CBE with Directors Ho-Yin Ng, Alice Dietsch and Maximiliano Arrocet.
Collaborating with ambitious and visionary clients, they develop designs that are conceptualised not just as buildings, but as urban propositions – projects that express the identity of an institution, a city or even a nation.
Recently completed projects include a new centre for the cancer care charity Maggie’s within the grounds of University College Hospital in Southampton, opening in 2021; in 2017 they completed the Victoria & Albert Museum Exhibition Road Quarter London, the V&A’s largest building project in over 100 years, and Central Embassy – their largest project to date – a 140,000m2 luxury shopping mall and hotel in Bangkok on the former grounds of the British Embassy; in 2016 they celebrated the opening of MAAT, the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology in Lisbon, commissioned by EDP, one of the world’s foremost energy companies, and completed a 13-hectare media campus and 37,700m2 headquarters building for Sky in London.
Ongoing commissions include the expansion and redevelopment of Paisley Museum in Scotland; the reimagining of the D’Ieteren HQ in Brussels into a mixed-use piece of city; and the design of the first prototype magnetised target fusion facility in the world for the Canadian clean energy firm General
Wadham College Buildings at University of Oxford, England – Building Information
Structure & M&E Engineer: Arup
Lighting, Fire, Acoustics, Security, DDA: Arup
Project Manager: Bidwells
Quantity Surveyor: Gleeds
Planning Consultant: Turnberry
CDM Adviser: Ridge
Façade Engineer / Contractor: Eckersley O’Callaghan / Colorminium
Construction: Beard Construction
Landscape Designer: Churchman Thornhill Finch
Wadham College Buildings, University of Oxford images / information received 140421 from AL_A Architects
Location: University of Oxford, England, UK
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