This building sits very comfortably in its setting: a south-facing courtyard focused on a mature beech tree. In its covered cloisters and glazed common room roofs, in the student rooms and the external terraces, this is a building that blurs the definitions of inside and out. The building is a journey of discovery with a series of delightfully framed views through architectural spaces on to the garden.
In this way the architecture complements the environmental agenda. St John’s College wanted to use the latest thinking in sustainability. A combination of building orientation, excellent insulation, solar and geothermal energy, biomass boilers, heat recovery, low-energy lighting and controls leave little that could be bettered. All this has been achieved without the slightest hint of compromise to the architecture.