New Lecture Theatre & College Kitchens, Worcester College, Oxford
Rick Mather Architects has won the competition to design a new lecture theatre and college kitchens for Worcester College, Oxford.
The competition sought to select an architect-led team with whom the college can work to deliver a building of architectural distinction that will be a worthy adjunct to the college's numerous listed buildings and its beautiful grounds and gardens. The new facilities are intended to have a major impact on the academic, artistic and social life of the college throughout the year, and will be at the heart of the college's tercentenary celebrations in 2014.
Rick Mather Architects was selected from a short-list which also included (in alphabetical order): 6a Architects; Burd Haward Architects, Dixon Jones Ltd, O'Donnell + Tuomey Ltd and Wright & Wright Architects LLP.
The Jury Panel recognised that the six teams had developed a rich variety of ideas and initial design approaches in response to an extraordinary architectural challenge, with a demanding brief and a very constrained historic site. The panel felt that the Rick Mather team had demonstrated an excellent understanding of how spaces could be re-organised to improve catering provision etc, together with a lecture theatre design which would offer an appropriate modern counterpoint to the surrounding buildings.
Dr Josephine Quinn (Vice-Provost) commented:
'The college was thrilled with the quality and creativity of the submissions made by all six teams and we learnt a lot about architecture and about our own college through the competition process. We are very excited about the scheme proposed by Rick Mather Architects, which is ingenious, practical, and beautiful. Right at the heart of the college, it has the potential to transform the way the staff and students work, study, eat and spend time together, and to further strengthen our sense of academic community.'