Library and Study Centre, St John's College, St Giles'
by Wright & Wright Architects
Client St John's College Oxford
Awards RIBA South Award 2021, RIBA South Building of the Year 2021 and RIBA National Award 2021
Oxford’s colleges have a history of commissioning architecture which is designed to enhance the education of future generations as well as to provide a legacy to the built environment. As colleges expand in the city, finding new sites becomes a greater challenge, especially when looking within their own grounds.
In developing the brief for the new library and study centre, St John’s College, together with Wright & Wright, has achieved a building which delivers on many levels. There are robust sustainable design criteria, and the commissioning of artisans for elements such as the stone artwork and joinery, combined with the attention to details, connections and overall materials and finishes do not go unnoticed.
The project has been used to link older parts of the college with newer parts, with the creation of new routes providing communal meeting points. The library and study centre is student-focused, with different types of reading/research spaces to cater for personal preferences and study methods.
The integration of historically sensitive elements of the college grounds and buildings into the new scheme is well conceived. Sitting behind Sprott’s Wall, and also looking over that wall to the gardens beyond, the architectural concept uses transparent wrap-around glazed corners to allow visual connection, minimising the visual mass.
The design of the new building enhances and reveals some of the existing context previously hidden away, but maintains privacy where it’s needed, such as the President’s Garden.
Internal area 1,780.00 m²
Contractor Stepnell Ltd
Structural Engineers Price & Myers LLP
Environmental / M&E Engineers Max Fordham LLP
Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant Peter W Gittins & Associates
Interior Design Wright & Wright Architects LLP
Project Management Wright & Wright Architects LLP
Access Consultant Menzies Partners Ltd
Landscape Architects Dominic Cole Landscape Architects Ltd
Acoustic Engineers Max Fordham LLP
Lighting Design Max Fordham LLP