The Queen’s College, Oxford, New Library

Old and new are linked with masterful care and discretion

The Queen's College
The Queen's College Credit: MICA Architects

MICA Architects for The Queen’s College, Oxford
Contract value: £10m
GIA: 2,687 m²
Cost per m²: £3,722

Beneath the lawn of the Provost’s garden of The Queen’s College, Oxford, is hidden a brand new college library. This invisibility is welcome given the grade I status of the existing 17th century English Baroque library to the west. The large subterranean library is daylight-filled thanks to an extremely large longitudinal rooflight which gives those within superb views of the listed facade from below. The extension and rooflight are successfully concealed and old and new are linked with masterful care and discretion.

  • The Queen's College
    The Queen's College Credit: Jim Stephenson
  • The Queen's College
    The Queen's College Credit: Jim Stephenson
  • The Queen's College
    The Queen's College Credit: Jim Stephenson
  • The Queen's College
    The Queen's College Credit: Jim Stephenson
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This effect is achieved through a beautifully crafted lift and stair situated in one of the structural bays of the old library. These appear entirely natural in the historic setting due to the deft handling of their insertion. There is no hint of compromise to the restored listed buildings or to their setting and the few new elements which are visible feel right and good.

Regional Conservation Award

See the other winners in the RIBA regional awards - South

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