St Peter’s Senior Common & Dining Room

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Client: St Peter’s College
Location: St Peter’s College, Oxford

The designs for the new senior common room and dining room facility at St Peter’s College grew as much from the development of massing studies and external interventions aimed at knitting together different areas of the College, as they did from brief requirements for the rooms themselves. As so often is the case when working in important historical settings, the building brief has to expand to incorporate the wider context and often it is this wider context that dictates the size, scale and form of building proposed.

The designs serve to create two distinct quadrangles at the heart of the College, whilst mediating between an uncomfortable change in level across the campus. They make sense of the currently uncomfortable staircase tower to ‘New Building’ and at the same time introduce a sense of animation to both quads. The rooms themselves are light and airy with panoramic views both back towards the College chapel and out across the lower quad. The use of large areas of glazing set behind timber louvres and the light box effect that this will create means that the building will also contribute positively to the adjacent quads after dark.