Multi-award-winning architects, Design Engine, have been appointed for a new student accommodation project at St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, following an invited competitive interview which focused on the practice’s design approach rather than any single definitive solution.
The project encompasses new undergraduate accommodation, gym and academic support facilities as part of a second phase of development at the College.
Design Engine have been tasked with formulating a proposal which respects and enhances the grounds of St Hilda’s College and its stunning location on the banks of the River Cherwell, opposite the Oxford Botanic Garden. The site includes a Grade II listed student residential building designed by Peter and Alison Smithson (formally opened as the Garden Building in 1971) and the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building by van Heyningen and Haward Architects opened in 1995.
Alongside Design Engine Architects, the St Hilda’s College project team includes engineersHRW (Structures & Civils), QODA (M&E), Bidwells (PM), Ridge (QS) and Turnberry (Planning Consultant).
This new project is the second part of a two-phase strategic development. The first part, started in 2016 with a Gort Scott scheme, is due for completion in the autumn of 2020. This new project will enable the College to realise its wish to be able to offer accommodation to all those undergraduates who want it, for the duration of their degree.
Subject to the granting of Planning Consent for this second phase, the project would deliver additional student rooms for the start of the 2023/24 academic year.
Professor Sir Gordon Duff, Principal of St Hilda’s College, commented: “The Project Steering Group and Governing Body Fellows were particularly impressed by insight shown by Design Engine to the environment and ethos of St Hilda’s.”
John Ridgett, Director at Design Engine, said: “We are delighted to have been selected for this prestigious project and look forward to working in collaboration with the College and the whole project team to deliver a fitting environment for future St Hilda’s students.”