John Henry Brookes & Abercrombie Building

Design Engine Architects, Oxford, 2014

 

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Student services building built within the masterplan for Oxford Brookes University

The development consists of a library, auditorium, student’s union, pooled teaching space and an extension to the Abercrombie Building, home of the university’s school of architecture.

At the northern end of the building a piazza that rises 2.5m connects the first floor of the building with the road. This public square is flanked by a three-storey colonnade that will contain cafés, shops and a medical centre.

The building's central space, some 20m high, provides social and educational functions and the further functions of the building – the union, pooled teaching spaces, library and Abercrombie Building – plug into it from a series of wings. The ground floor, viewed from the first balcony on entering, is scattered with an arrangement of sofas, workstations and café seating, all served by a deli. When cleared, this space can be used for gatherings of about 1,000 people – perfect for graduations and the like. Above this hangs the 350-seat auditorium, clad in timber fins, a space that can be used for lectures and gatherings of student societies.

 The Abercrombie Building doubles the capacity of the existing faculty, providing studio spaces astride a void driven through the centre of the block that are linked with coloured structural glass bridges.

Data

  • Begun: Feb 2011
  • Completed: Feb 2014
  • Floor area: 26,848m2
  • Sector: Education
  • Total cost: £83M
  • Procurement: NEC 3 contract
  • Address: Oxford Brookes University, Headington Campus, Gipsy Lane Oxford, Oxford, OX3 0BP, United Kingdom

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