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Major contest launched for £19m revamp of Stirling’s Florey Building

The Queen’s College, Oxford has launched an international contest to overhaul James Stirling’s controversial 1971 Florey Building

The high-profile, £19 million project to revamp the Grade II-listed student halls comes more than 40 years after the terracotta-clad building opened to critical acclaim.

The announcement follows decades of speculation over the long-term future of the building, which has been affected by leaks and overheating.

Vowing to conserve and upgrade the iconic U-shaped building, the college said it was looking for an architect to ‘fulfil Stirling’s original vision’.

The winning team will also be required to improve the riverside setting and consider possibilities for the inclusion of new accommodation and social facilities on the wider site.

Queen’s home bursar Linda Irving-Bell said: ‘The Florey is an emblematic building. With hindsight, the building was way ahead of the original, available technology but, with recent innovations, many of the problems can be addressed.

‘Queen’s wants to conserve and upgrade the building and set an example in energy design and sustainability.’

Competition organiser Malcolm Reading added: ‘The building was the product of two titans of modern culture, Lord Florey, who wanted a distinguished building to attract the best minds, and James Stirling, who was regarded as the most brilliant architect of his generation.

‘This is a fascinating project, because it needs to balance a respect for Stirling’s original vision with a high-quality upgrade of fabric and services.’

The deadline for expressions of interest is 9 October. A shortlist will be announced in autumn and the winning team is expected to be announced in February 2014. Click here for more information

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