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The Dorothy Wadham Building, Oxford

Gaps between buildings allow views into the quad layout while maintaining student privacy

The Dorothy Wadham Building.
The Dorothy Wadham Building. Credit: Nick Guttridge

RIBA National Award winner 2021
RIBA South Award winner 2021


Allies and Morrison for Wadham College, University of Oxford    
Contract value: undisclosed 
G
IA: 5,432m2

The architectural language of this new student accommodation replicates the nearby traditional villas, but with a contemporary update. The blocks are arranged around a private landscaped garden, where students can relax. On the busy Iffley Road, the main building maintains the height and grandeur of its neighbours, while those on the side streets step down to respect the scale of the cottage terraces typical of the area. This method of integrating the new scheme into the context is also evident in the retained rear access lane across the back of the site. This provides space for new communal facilities building and cycle stores.

  • The Dorothy Wadham Building.
    The Dorothy Wadham Building. Credit: Nick Guttridge
  • The Dorothy Wadham Building.
    The Dorothy Wadham Building. Credit: Nick Guttridge
  • The Dorothy Wadham Building.
    The Dorothy Wadham Building. Credit: Nick Guttridge
  • The Dorothy Wadham Building.
    The Dorothy Wadham Building. Credit: Nick Guttridge
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Internally, the layout groups bedrooms sharing kitchen, dining and lounge facilities. Attention has been given to corridor ends, having windows and seating for informal use. Internal staircases incorporate different wall and floor finishes to help bring natural daylight from above down into the lower floors. On the adjacent side street, the scheme also maintains the business use of a former workshop site, which has been redeveloped as live/work units or separate commercial units.

See the rest of the South winners here
And all the RIBA Regional Awards here
See other RIBA National Awards 2021 winners, Education, here

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