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Revealed: shortlist in contest to revamp Stirling’s Florey Building

The AJ can reveal the shortlist in the international contest to overhaul James Stirling’s controversial 1971 Florey Building

Those vying to upgrade the grade II-listed masterpiece are Avanti Architects, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Hawkins\Brown Architects, John McAslan + Partners, Levitt Bernstein Associates  and Nicholas Hare Architects.

Built as student accommodation, the Foley Building was commissioned by the Queen’s College Provost Lord Howard Florey in the mid 60s. At the time Foley said he sought ‘the best building by the best architect to attract the best students and also research funding’.

As well as making the building more energy efficient, the £19million revamp of the forty year-old facility aims to ‘overcome problems of comfort and use’.

The brief also said that the winning design would: ‘…balance a respect for Stirling’s original vision with a high-quality upgrade of fabric and services.’

Competition organiser, Malcolm Reading said: ‘This is an extremely complex project which will require a deal of patience and skill but the renewal of the Florey will be a tremendous asset to Queen’s, and indeed Oxford.’ 

An open day for the practices will be held in November with second-stage submissions due at the end of January with the winner expected to be announced in February following Jury interviews.

Previous story (AJ 05.09.13)

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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