Wilkinson Eyre has completed its £29 million Department of Earth Sciences building for the University of Oxford
The building houses laboratories and a wing of academic offices and has a folded stone-clad ‘narrative wall’.
The building is clad in Clipsham stone-faced precast concrete panels - the same stone was used on a number of nearby historic buildings.
The practice bagged the scheme following a competition back in 2005 and completed the project last month.
Describing the project a spokesman for the practice said: ‘The narrative of the design was carefully developed at the concept stages in order to create a building that would work as an ‘as found’ object, telling the story of its users in the same way that the occupants might place a fossil within a particular era of the earth’s history.
‘This idea is embodied in the ‘narrative wall’ which is the building’s most striking element, acting as a ‘shop front’ for the department and leading visitors from South Parks Road into the public spaces at the heart of the building. The wall divides the public and social areas of the building from the more introverted spaces of the laboratory wing, and establishes the logic for the building’s principal internal circulation.’
The scheme is the first of three Wilkinson Eyre schemes to complete in Oxford. The practice is currently working on the soon-to-start Maggie’s Centre, which will be built using prefabricated timber construction methods, and is overseeing the £78 million New Bodleian Library revamp, due to break ground next year (2011)
Source: Morley von Sternberg