Wadham College Graduate Study Centre

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Client: Wadham College
Location: Wadham College, Oxford
Completion: September 2015

The new graduate centre for Wadham College, Oxford was won in limited competition. It is a complex sensitive project which demands a subtle and carefully worked solution. It involves the careful restoration, adaptation and extension of a 1960s grade II listed architectural interior by celebrated Scottish practice Gillespie Kidd and Coia (GKC).

The building has been adapted for use as a graduate study centre – incorporating seminar, library and social spaces – with a new main entrance from the College campus.

The brief for the project required a link back to the main College with the major entrance now coming from the rear of the original building. This requirement has resulted in the design of a new building set amid Wadham’s beautiful Back Quad.

A careful dialogue and balance has been struck between the listed interior on the one hand and the historic gardens on the other. The spatial sequence of entrance and the scale and volumetric proportions of both interior and exterior have been developed to echo the GKC oeuvre, whilst sitting comfortably within this historic backdrop.

Internally the use of Rich and noble materials incorporating a portion of the Colleges fine library collection has led to a sense of warmth and cosiness sometimes thought to be unachievable within such a modern aesthetic.