John Mcaslan + Partners wins international competition to design the new Said Global Leadership Centre for the University of Oxford

John McAslan + Partners has been commissioned by one of the world’s leading business schools, the Saïd Business School at The University of Oxford, to transform the currently unoccupied Osney Power Station into the School’s new Global Leadership Centre.

The Power Station holds a wealth of opportunities to create a dynamic environment as the centre for the School’s executive education provision. In particular, the riverside setting creates a unique opportunity for adaptive re-use and new build for both academic and residential amenities, creating an enclave which is both part of the urban Oxford scene whilst being suitably distinct and tranquil.

Professor Peter Tufano, Dean of the Saïd Business School, comments:

“John McAslan + Partners’ proposals show great vision: the practice’s interpretation of the brief effectively combines the existing historic fabric and world class contemporary design.”

Hannah Lawson, Partner at John McAslan + Partners, adds:

“We propose to harness the existing building’s distinctive characteristics, ensuring the powerful internal volume of the

Power Station is retained as an open ‘agora’ – a vibrant collegiate quad at the heart of the facility for the interaction and exchange of ideas, while the residential amenities celebrate the exterior setting of the landscape, enhancing the external aspect and optimising views.”

The proposed scheme seeks to identify opportunities for social space, break-out meeting spaces and areas for informal study. It is these vibrant ‘market places’ that
will celebrate the diversity of the student’s cultural and educational specialisations, facilitating the cross-fertilisation of ideas, stimulating learning and development and promoting a real sense of community.

Located on the banks of the River Thames in Central Oxford, Osney Power Station was the city’s first electrical power plant, open from 1892 to 1968. It was acquired
by the University in 1969 and turned into a research laboratory for the Department of Engineering Science, where researchers performed cutting-edge experimentation in hypersonics and turbo-machinery. It was used for this purpose up until 2010.