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Contest launched to overhaul Oriel College Oxford

Oriel College in Oxford has launched a design competition for a £5 million to £10 million revamp of its social spaces and catering facilities

The two-stage contest, organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, focuses on a wedge-shaped area that lies between the college’s Grade I-listed hall and chapel and a medieval wall.

The site currently hosts Oriel’s dining hall, bar, social space, kitchen and ancillary facilities.

College treasurer Wilf Stephenson said: ‘Until now, the College has relied on a mix of ad-hoc and utilitarian buildings to support our grand public and social spaces.

‘This project will modernise and extend the less-obvious but essential supporting spaces, as well as improve connections between the Grade I showpiece rooms. We want to commission a contemporary intervention that meets our need for modern facilities yet remains sensitive to our historic buildings.’

Malcolm Reading said: ‘The successful team will need to skilfully resolve the puzzle here, eking the space out, focusing on how it is experienced by users and at the same time integrating any new building, so that it relates to the existing ensemble of seventeenth-century and medieval architecture.’

Founded in 1326, Oriel was one of the first five colleges at the University of Oxford and today has 300 undergraduate and 200 graduate students alongside 150 staff.

The college’s Gothic Survival quadrangle is Grade I-listed and features 17th century design elements. Other key buildings include the neoclassical Senior Library designed by James Wyatt in the 1780s.

Expressions of Interest are invited and a shortlist of five to seven teams will be selected to work up concept proposals.

The shortlist will be announced at the end of July 2013 and the winning team announced by late October 2013.

Teams have until 19 July 2013 to register and submit expressions of interest.







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