To accommodate the increasing number of visiting students at one of the largest colleges in Oxford, the Dr Lee Shau Kee Access Centre and the William Doo Undergraduate Centre, added to the span of architectural heritage at this historic campus.
Being involved from a very early stage to assist in costing the façade scheme as it transitioned through the design stages, enabled us to concurrently advise of any challenges with the delivery of the design from our wealth of experience.
Following our early advice, the project was then let under a 2-stage procurement model to Beard Construction at which point we were able to fully cost the finalised design. Working closely with the key stakeholders, the successful contract award and subsequent delivery led to an excellent addition to our growing portfolio of schemes in the higher education sector.
With responsibility for the building envelope, a detailed and thorough approach to the co-ordinated design was vital. CLT slabs to the low-rise building meant hanging the SG curtain walling from roof level. This glazing approach meant the façade works could only start once the frame was complete meaning a progressive wrap in full height sections. Included in the facade was a highly complex glass specification with Vanceva interlayers and a polished aluminium backing sheet, giving a very unique effect. Areas adjacent to existing listed buildings needed fire treatment whilst maintaining a consistent external visual.
With varying levels around the site, the two new buildings are joined at the corner with an undercroft running to the rear. Natural stone rainscreen cladding frames this feature and transitions into aluminium cladding in other less prominent areas. Bespoke external fins to the curtain walling drop to ground floor level meaning careful design was needed in the high impact areas to give a seamless finish. At roof level and to close the building off, architectural metalwork in the form of a bespoke angled coping is a stunning feature that runs around the perimeter of the building.
An extremely tight and complex site with limited access needed close attention during the design to ensure the products could actually be delivered and installed. A live campus environment brought an added challenge that needed careful planning to guarantee a safe working environment.
The finished building is a centrepiece on the campus and has gone on to win multiple awards which provide further testament to the benefits of early engagement to ensure deliverability of the clients dream.