FROM restoration and new build projects at our most venerable Oxford University colleges, to a groundbreaking new comprehensive school, new public spaces and efforts to preserve an ancient meadow, Oxford has been graced with some truly remarkable projects over the past year.

That these have taken form in a time of pandemic only adds to the extraordinary achievements of the designers, architects, planners and contractors involved.

As the guardians of the city’s built and natural heritage, Oxford Preservation Trust are well placed to single out the projects which have done most to enhance the city’s environment.

Through its OPT Annual Awards it picks out the very finest architectural projects and preservation schemes – and, says OPT director Debbie Dance, this year’s 44th awards are no exception, with some stunning schemes earning plaques.

She said: “There were over 60 entries to the 44th OPT Annual Awards and after many visits and much discussion, 12 OPT Awards 2021 plaques were awarded in an evening where everyone came together to hear about the great examples of sustainability, good design, access to green space and caring for heritage all helping to keep Oxford special.

Oxford Mail: OPT Awards - Christ Church College

Christ Church Visitor Centre 

“We were delighted to welcome Oxfordshire county councillor Dr Pete Sudbury, Cabinet Member for Climate Change Delivery and Environment, who presented green plaques to the teams behind the Kennedy Institute at Old Road Campus and Springfield Meadows Southmoor recognising the link between the built environment and climate change.

“Plaques were also awarded for the new Christ Church Visitor Centre in the Meadows, the magnificent Olivier Hall & Christie Centre in St Edward’s School, the transformation of the St Hilda’s College site, and the innovative Wolfson Building which brings award-winning architecture to the John Radcliffe Hospital site.

“In Building Conservation, OPT recognised the wonderful work to the Hilda Besse Building at St Antony’s College bringing it back to life, alongside the Story Museum where life simply oozes from its very walls.

Oxford Mail: The Wolfson Building at the John Radcliffe Hospital, above, and left, the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology

The Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology

“Recognising small projects is a special part of the awards with plaques going to the restoration of the 550-year-old Gallery Window & Tracery at East St Helen’ Street Abingdon and to the Newman Meeting Place Project at St Mary & St Nicholas Church, Littlemore, which adds to the community there.

“Public Realm also featured in the Greening Jericho plaque, and to Broad Meadow which brought liveliness and hope for the future of Broad Street for our summer enjoyment.”


  • New Buildings

Visitor Centre, Christ Church

Olivier Hall & The Christie Centre, St Edward’s School

Transforming St Hilda’s College Site

Wolfson Building, John Radcliffe Hospital

  • Building Conservation

The Hilda Besse Building Refurbishment, St Antony’s College

The Story Museum

  • Small Projects

Rear Gallery Window Restoration, 26 & 26a East St Helen Street, Abingdon

The Newman Meeting Place Project, St Mary & St Nicholas Church, Littlemore

  • Landscape & Public Realm

Greening Jericho, Mount Place

  • Temporary Projects

Broad Meadow, Broad Street

Oxford Mail: OPT Awards - Hilda Besse Building Refurbishment

Hilda Besse Building Refurbishment


  • New Buildings

The Ainsworth Graduate Centre, St Catherine’s College

Barton Park Primary School

Dr Lee Shau Kee Building (Access Centre) and William Doo Undergraduate Centre, Wadham College

The Earth Trust Innovation Lab, Little Wittenham

Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Roof Extension, Old Road Campus, Oxford

The Swan School, Marston Ferry Road, Oxford

  • Building Conservation

Oriel College Dining Hall

  • Small Projects

Porters’ Lodge, Corpus Christi College

Main Quad Repaving and Dining Hall Corridor Ramp, University College

Extension and Improvement to St Luke’s Hospital, Latimer Road, Headington

Winter Common Room & New Room Back of House Areas, Magdalen College

  • Landscape & Public Realm

Wild Edges, Barracks Lane Community Garden

Oxford Mail: OPT Awards - The Story Museum

The Story Museum


Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology Roof Extension, Old Road Campus, Oxford

Springfield Meadows, Southmoor