Design Engine has been selected for the latest phase of development at St Hilda’s College, Oxford – a new student accommodation scheme
In 2016 Gort Scott saw off competition from DRDH, 6A architects, Tim Ronalds Architects, and Hall McKnight to win a Malcolm Reading Consultants-run contest to design the college’s new ‘gateway block’. That scheme is due to finish this autumn (pictured bottom).
This second stage includes new undergraduate accommodation, a gym and academic support facilities at the college, which was one of the five former women-only colleges in Oxford before it began accepting male students 12 years ago.
Design Engine landed the job following an invited competitive interview ahead of an undisclosed shortlisting of firms, understood to have included the likes of Bennetts Associates.
According to the practice, the selection process focused on design approach, rather than any single definitive solution.
Design Engine said it would now be drawing up plans which ‘respected and enhanced the grounds of St Hilda’s College and its stunning location on the banks of the River Cherwell opposite the Oxford Botanic Garden’.
The second-phase development site includes the 1971 Grade II-listed student residential building designed by Peter and Alison Smithson, known as the Garden Building, and the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building by van Heyningen and Haward Architects, which opened in 1995.
Speaking about the scheme, Gordon Duff, principal of St Hilda’s College, said: ’The project steering group and governing body fellows were particularly impressed by insight shown by Design Engine into the environment and ethos of St Hilda’s.’
Subject to planning, the scheme is expected to complete before the start of the 2023-24 academic year.
Type of project University student accommodation building
Client St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford
Architect Design Engine Architects
Planning consultant Turnberry Consulting
Structural engineer engineers engineersHRW
Civil engineer engineers engineersHRW
M&E consultant QODA
Quantity surveyor Ridge & Partners
Tender date To be confirmed
Start on site date To be confirmed
Completion date To be confirmed
Contract duration To be confirmed
Gross internal floor area To be confirmed
Form of contract To be confirmed
Total cost Undisclosed
Gort Scott’s approved scheme for St Hilda’s college - April 2018. River view.