A multiple-award-winning public realm.

The £134m redevelopment of Oxford Brookes University’s Headington Campus embodies the spirit of the university’s transformative ‘Space to Think’ initiative. We were appointed to design the public realm following a limited competition.

Working as part of the masterplanning team, we were faced with incoherent, straight-jacketed architecture, poor legibility and outdoor space, but together we developed a design that would transform the campus.

Conceived as a series of interconnecting buildings and spaces, the campus features a dramatic public reception plaza, overlooked by the new John Henry Brookes Building reading rooms and reception. A sheltered, contemplative central courtyard interconnects with the Forum, a four-storey veil of glass the only separation. These elegant spaces are highly sustainable, incorporating cooling labyrinths and attenuation tanks; technically complex yet seemingly simple and created from local materials.

A fully accessible public route links Headington conservation area with South Park and its views of the Oxford’s “dreaming spires”.

The project won a RIBA National Award: a RIBA South Regional Award, the RIBA South Sustainability Award and the RIBA South Building of the Year Award.

Our client was thrilled with our input: “A creative and inventive practice that works collaboratively with its client, achieving outstanding work grounded in technical excellence and value for money.”

To share our client’s experience, please contact Richard Hannay or Edward Phillips.