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David Kohn wins New College Oxford contest

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David Kohn Architects has won its largest commission yet after triumphing in an invited competition for a new quad development at New College Oxford

The practice saw off competition from a six-strong shortlist which included Alison Brooks Architects, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Gort Scott and Lee / Fitzgerald Architects.

Speaking about the win practice founder David Kohn, said ‘It will be the biggest job we have ever worked on. It feels like we have been pursuing this kind of project for a while now. All our work so far has built up to this moment.’

Kohn added that he hoped the job would pave the way for more opportunities in the higher education sector.

The brief called for a design which maximised the college’s accommodation while also addressing the needs of New College School – an independent prep school which shares the site.

According to Kohn, the practice’s winning scheme will ‘combine buildings and landscape into a holistic vision’.

The ‘highly significant project’ will honour the tradition of the Oxford quadrangle while invigorating this under-used part of the college’s estate.

The shortlisted teams on the contest organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants, were tasked with drawing up a masterplan and concept design for the Oxford College’s Savile Road site.

Curtis Price, warden of New College, said: ‘This is a highly significant project for New College; it will release the potential of an important central Oxford site whilst at the same time creating a piece of striking architecture that will match the quality of the rest of the College – both timeless and sensitive to the environs.’

Malcolm Reading, competition organiser, added: ‘We selected a diverse, international shortlist for the College because we knew the design challenge was going to be testing. David’s scheme was the clear winner and he made a connection with the College and jury. It’s great to see him winning a project of real presence and scale.

The practice, which is getting set to recruit staff to work on the project, will now work with the college to develop the design and work on site is expected to begin in 2016.

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