Headington Campus, Oxford Brookes University
The redevelopment of the Headington Campus at Oxford Brookes University is as much a complete overhaul of the teaching ethos and environment as it is simply an inspiration and joy to those who visit it. This £134 million project is at the heart of the University’s transformative ‘Space to Think’ investment initiative.
Driving the new campus image is a dramatic public reception plaza, overlooked by the new John Henry Brookes Building reading rooms and reception. Further into the campus core a central courtyard interconnects with the Forum, with a 4-storey veil of glass the only separation. These and other interlinking spaces are designed and work as a whole to provide both convenient, attractive and memorable spaces for social mixing and break out, and simply to convey the University’s new brand through excellent place-making. The resulting public realm is already immensely popular giving the university a new dimension – literally space to think.
These elegant spaces are also highly sustainable incorporating cooling labyrinths and attenuation tanks; are technically highly complex yet seemingly simple; and use local materials in a distinctive way to create a truly individual character.
The campus’ relationship with its wider context is enhanced with a fully accessible public route linking Headington Conservation Area with the open space of South Park and its views of the “Dreaming Spires” of Oxford city.
The project was awarded a 2014 RIBA National Award: a RIBA South Regional Award, the RIBA South Sustainability Award and the RIBA South Building of the Year Award.