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Hawkins\Brown scoops planning for Oxford physics lab

[First look + plans + project data] Hawkins\Brown has won planning permission for this £34 million physics laboratory in Oxford

The 6,000m² scheme brings together Oxford University’s experimental and theoretical physics faculties onto one site linked to the existing physics department.

The five-storey structure has a 12 metre deep ‘double basement’ for nanotechnology, quantum optics and atomic force microscopy research.

A statement from the practice explained: ‘A rhythm of weathered bronze fins articulates the building on two scales to provide a vertical emphasis. The façade steps in height and depth to further break down the mass of the building. Double height picture windows provide key views in and out from the collaboration spaces.

‘Hawkins\Brown has developed the massing and façade design in response to the highly sensitive context within which this building sits. Influences have been taken from Keble College Chapel and the University Museum, both Grade I Listed, as well as more contemporary Oxford buildings such as Arne Jacobsen’s St. Catherines College.’

The building is designed to form part of a new gateway to the city centre when travelling from the north, according to the studio.


Project data

Client:Mike Wigg, University of Oxford Estates Department
Architect: Hawkins\Brown
Structural & Civil Engineer: Peter Brett Associates
Services Engineer: Hoare Lea
Quantity Surveyor: Turner & Townsend
Project Management: Parsons Brinkerhoff
Landscape Architect: B:D Landscape Architects

Hawkins\Brown's physics laboratory project in Oxford

Hawkins\Brown’s physics laboratory project in Oxford

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