Feels like a piece of exquisitely crafted furniture
Design Engine Architects for St Peter’s College, Oxford
Contract value: £2.2m
GIA: 297 m²
Cost per m²: £7,407
This building, which feels like a piece of exquisitely crafted furniture, replaces a collection of motley sheds huddling beneath the grim lowering mass of the neighbours’ three-storey flank wall. The college’s quad desperately needed a fourth side and the architect has perfectly plugged the gap, with a structure enclosing ample accommodation over four floors.
Unlike neighbours, old and new, with their finials, dormers and other projections, the Hubert Perrodo Building is admirably pure, an unsullied Platonic cuboid. However, it manages to mediate between a 20th century block to the west and older converted school building to the east with material references and sympathetic proportions. This is despite being taller than its neighbours. As well as the beautiful and bewitching building, the project included the landscaping of two contiguous quads which have been cleared of clutter and replanted to create pockets of privacy within a spacious overall effect.