City's famous skyline set for a modern twist

Oxford Mail: Artist's impression of the new building Artist's impression of the new building

THIS is the startling building that Oxford University is proposing as a new addition to the city’s famous skyline.

If approved, it would be erected in Walton Street to become one of the more dramatic and visible structures on the university’s new Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, on the former Radcliffe Infirmary site.

The £30m building would house the university’s Blavatnik School of Government, Europe’s first major school of government.

It is being created thanks to a £75m donation from the billionaire tycoon Leonard Blavatnik, pictured above left. The semi-circular building has been designed by the world leading architects Herzog & de Meuron. It is the Swiss architects’ first design for any UK university.

Paul Goffin, Oxford University’s director of Estates, said: “The building pays tribute to features of Oxford’s skyline – its circular shape evokes the Radcliffe Camera and the design is squared off on one side like Christopher Wren’s distinctive Sheldonian Theatre.”

The huge project - which will cost £50m in total - will provide an important jobs boost, with the building scheduled to be completed in the summer of 2015.

A two-week public consultation opens today in the former Radcliffe Infirmary outpatients’ building in Woodstock Road.

It will be held on weekdays until August 1 from 9am to 5pm. The consultation will also be manned on Wednesday, July 25, and Tuesday, July 31, from 4pm to 8pm.

A second public consultation will be held in September, after comments on the initial plans have been considered. The scheme will be submitted for planning in October, with the city council’s planning committee expected to consider the application in March 2013.

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Comments (5)

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12:13pm Thu 19 Jul 12

Lady Penelopee says...

The artist's impression makes it look horrible!
The artist's impression makes it look horrible! Lady Penelopee

1:19pm Thu 19 Jul 12

Andrew:Oxford says...

Now images of the "startling" (unattractive) one have been promulgated...

When do we get to see (already planned?) "compromise" building that will satisfy the likely protests of the heritage& resident groups.
Now images of the "startling" (unattractive) one have been promulgated... When do we get to see (already planned?) "compromise" building that will satisfy the likely protests of the heritage& resident groups. Andrew:Oxford

1:39pm Thu 19 Jul 12

sparky123456 says...

i really hope this gets the go-ahead. Firstly it's about time Oxford got with the future instead of profiting from the past. London has manged to accomodate the gherkin and canary wharf alongside other historic buildings. It will also make challenges against private sector building proposals harder to counter by both college and council.
i really hope this gets the go-ahead. Firstly it's about time Oxford got with the future instead of profiting from the past. London has manged to accomodate the gherkin and canary wharf alongside other historic buildings. It will also make challenges against private sector building proposals harder to counter by both college and council. sparky123456

7:06am Fri 20 Jul 12

Myron Blatz says...

Pity Mr Blavatnik couldn't have so generously donated his £75million to the thousands of homeless in Oxford, and the child deprivation which blights the 'Dreaming Spires' City of Oxford. As for the usual 'jobs creation' hype, this usually refers only to the period of construction - and doesn't guarantee that either the building firms or workers will be sourced locally. Nor does the article mention any contribution to social and affordable housing from any such project.
Pity Mr Blavatnik couldn't have so generously donated his £75million to the thousands of homeless in Oxford, and the child deprivation which blights the 'Dreaming Spires' City of Oxford. As for the usual 'jobs creation' hype, this usually refers only to the period of construction - and doesn't guarantee that either the building firms or workers will be sourced locally. Nor does the article mention any contribution to social and affordable housing from any such project. Myron Blatz

12:58pm Fri 20 Jul 12

King Joke says...

Andrew:Oxford wrote:
Now images of the "startling" (unattractive) one have been promulgated... When do we get to see (already planned?) "compromise" building that will satisfy the likely protests of the heritage& resident groups.
Tee hee Andrew. Yep, this will get thrown out and we'll get some tacky Poundbury-style late-80s po-mo mess instead. Thank sweet Jesus that these people weren't around at the time the Radcliffe Camera or All Saint's Church were built; both were radical and contemporary in their day.
[quote][p][bold]Andrew:Oxford[/bold] wrote: Now images of the "startling" (unattractive) one have been promulgated... When do we get to see (already planned?) "compromise" building that will satisfy the likely protests of the heritage& resident groups.[/p][/quote]Tee hee Andrew. Yep, this will get thrown out and we'll get some tacky Poundbury-style late-80s po-mo mess instead. Thank sweet Jesus that these people weren't around at the time the Radcliffe Camera or All Saint's Church were built; both were radical and contemporary in their day. King Joke

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