THE Oxford Times can today present the first images of Oxford Brookes University’s proposed £150m new Headington campus.

A striking glass building and new public square facing out on to Headington Road will form the centrepiece of the scheme.

And Brookes says the landmark five-storey atrium will provide a modern new gateway to Oxford, giving the university the commanding presence in Headington that it has long craved.

Shops, banks and cafes will be located off the new public square, which also offers space for public art in what will be one of the city’s most highly visible venues.

Brookes is also to contribute £500,000 towards road, pavement and lighting improvements and new bus lanes for Headington Road.

The development, however, goes far beyond providing Brookes with a new entrance.

The newly-published plans also feature a five-storey library on the west side of the site, along with a 320-seat lecture theatre, a new four-storey teaching building, food hall and student union building with a nightclub.

A major public courtyard will be created in the heart of the development, where there will be a stage for outdoor public performances or lectures.

The plans will go on public show for the first time tomorrow, with Brookes hoping to submit a planning application early next year.

Rex Knight, deputy vice-chancellor of Brookes, said the scheme would “redefine the way people viewed Brookes and unlock the campus to the public”, with the new entrance putting Brookes on public display through a giant glass frontage that would be passed by millions of people a year.

“I am sure that it will not only transform the experience students have at Brookes, but also be an exciting addition to the architectural landscape of Oxford. The new student centre is about providing much more than just a new lecture theatre and library — it’s about creating inspiring spaces.

“We want our students to spend more time on campus after a lecture or tutorial, sharing ideas, working in groups and developing new skills.

“The combination of a new public square, new public art and the striking glass design of the building will help create a modern gateway for Oxford to complement the historic city centre.”

The new buildings will replace ageing structures, some of which have already been demolished, including most of the Darcy Building, which covered a third of the Gipsy Lane site.

The Lloyd Building will be brought down next year. Almost 70 per cent of the Gipsy Lane campus dated back from the 1950s and 1960s.

New routes across the campus will include a north-south pedestrian path that will link Headington Road with Cheney Lane.

Brookes hopes the new landmark student centre building, providing 22,000 sq m of floor space, should open in 2012 in what will be only the first phase of a development plan stretching over a decade.

The Helena Kennedy Building on Brookes’s Headington Hill Hall campus is expected to be demolished in the second phase to make way for a concert hall, which would also be used for ceremonial events. But this is not envisaged before 2013.

The university’s main hall on Gipsy Lane will be replaced in the final phase.

Brookes says it will meet the cost from surpluses and a grant from the Higher Education Funding Council.

An exhibition showing the plans is being held in the Buckley Building, Gipsy Lane, tomorrow from 4-8pm, Saturday from 10am-4pm, Thursday from 4-8pm, next Friday from 4-8pm, and next Saturday from 10am-4pm.