Niall McLaughlin Architects' eight low-rise student accommodation blocks plus cricket pavilion won Holly Galbraith the South Regional Project Architect of the Year award
Niall McLaughlin Architects for Balliol College
This family of eight low-rise brick buildings of student rooms plus a cricket pavilion is a significant addition to the edge of urban Oxford along a curving streetscape. It also represents the development of a sophisticated visual and constructional language which allows for the degree of repetition and subtle variation.
The gaps between the buildings create visual porosity between the street and the cricket pitch. The stacked timber roof inside the cricket pavilion is a compelling set piece. Fourteen bedroom types are arranged in clusters around shared social spaces.
The elevational composition of the blocks uses repetition and variation, which also underpins the constructional approach, with CLT for load-bearing structure and brick-faced precast piers and lintels for self-supporting facades. The very careful detailing, high quality materials and controlled execution create a real sense of craft. Particular praise to project architect Holly Galbraith.