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Oxford University: The Latest Architecture and News

Spotlight: Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren (20 October 1632 – 25 February 1723) is one the most significant architects in British history, and was a recognized astronomer, scholar, and physicist-mathematician. Wren was classically trained at the University of Oxford in physics and engineering where he developed his interest in architecture. He is perhaps most famous for designing London's iconic St Paul's Cathedral, however he is credited with the design of dozens of other churches, government buildings, and hospitals in England. Wren was knighted in 1673.

Amanda Levete Architects Unveil Oxford University Addition

London-based AL_A, spearheaded by Amanda Levete, have revealed their design for two new buildings at the Wadham College site of the historic Oxford University in England. The Dr. Lee Shau Kee Building and William Doo Undergraduate Centre will provide much-needed space for undergraduate services to support the University's access programs as well as new gathering places for the student body. The firm has been developing the expansion since securing the project after an invited design competition in the summer of 2016.

Belsize Architects Creates Pavilion Residences for Oxford University Students

Belsize Architects has released the plans for 6 Pavilions, a new student accommodation project that will form a part of the University College’s larger masterplan in north Oxford.

To be built on the site of a Victorian residential home, the project will feature 30 units arranged within six pavilions around a central courtyard. Communal areas of the pavilions will be connected at the ground level.

Courtesy of Belsize ArchitectsCourtesy of Belsize ArchitectsCourtesy of Belsize ArchitectsCourtesy of Belsize Architects+ 13

Oxford Unveils 5 Proposals Seeking to Overhaul St Hilda's College

Oxford University has released five shortlisted proposals to overhaul and extend its St Hilda's College. Part of the invited competition Redefining St Hilda's, the concepts are designed to expand student and Fellow accommodation, while providing new social and teaching spaces, Middle Common Room, Porters' Lodge and entrance for the college.

“We are keenly aware of the legacy we give to future generations as well as the opportunity to enhance Oxford itself. This initiative is all about reimagining this beautiful site and creating an academic environment which is pleasing and satisfying to use, and which enables the College to flourish over the next hundred years,” says St Hilda’s College Principal, Professor Sir Gordon Duff.

Read on for a glance at the five shortlisted proposals...

Architecture’s Most Inspiring Leaders, Projects & People in 2015

5,000 3D cameras to help preserve the architecture of a country torn by war; A team of Latin American architects that moved into Venezuela’s most dangerous neighborhoods in order to design and build with the community; A legendary architect who understood architecture’s relationship to the transformation of technology -- and whose projects have celebrated technology across a trajectory of multiple decades. These are the projects, initiatives and people who have proven to be leaders in 2015.

ArchDaily’s editorial team wanted to recognize these projects for their commitment to promoting practices in architecture that serve many, in all corners of the globe -- from Bolivia to London, from Chicago to Venice, from public spaces in favelas to projected drone-ports in Africa. These are the stories that have inspired us in 2015, and whose influence we hope to continue to see into 2016.

Harvard and Oxford Take On ISIS with Digital Preservation Campaign

From the 2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshamin to the city of Nimrud, ISIS has destroyed countless monuments and relics. Now archaeologists from Harvard and Oxford have teamed up with UNESCO World Heritage and the epigraphical database project at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World to launch the Million Image Database Project. Spearheaded by Oxford's Institute for Digital Archaeology (IDA), the campaign plans to "flood" war-torn regions with thousands of 3D cameras so people can scan and (digitally) preserve their region's historical architecture and artifacts.

How Will Architecture Respond to a "Boom" in UK University Spending?

With the recent news that Dutch practice Mecanoo, along with Penoyre & Prasad, have been selected for a £200 million new engineering campus at the University of Manchester, Amanda Baillieu of BDOnline argues that they "need to set their ambitions a whole lot higher." Alongside's Manchester's announcement, universities in Sheffield, Newcastle and Oxford also recently announced a big investment in their campuses. The trick, Baillieu suggests, will be in ensuring the architecture is not "safe and office-like" (which fits universities’ "business-like" mindset). As we enter a "golden age" in university capital investment, educational architecture will be playing a central role. Read the article in full here.

Biochemistry Center / Hawkins Brown

Oxford University’s science center was way behind the times. Although the center was equipped with state of the art technology and some of the brightest minds, its fragmented and independent research areas made any attempt at interaction between scientists impossible. Working off academic J Rogers Hollingsworth’s theory that when scientists can frequently converse and exchange ideas, major breakthroughs are bound to happen, Hawkins Brown‘s new biochemistry building is a step in the right direction for Oxford.

More about the new Biochemistry facility after the break.