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Penoyre & Prasad wins Wolfson College Oxford masterplan contest

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Penoyre & Prasad has won an invited competition to re-masterplan Oxford’s Grade II-listed Wolfson College

The London practice ws selected ahead of Allies and Morrison and Stanton Williams to win the prestigious commission for the University of Oxford graduate college.

Founded in 1965, Wolfson College occupies a landmark Powell and Moya-designed campus in the north of the historic city, completed in 1974.

Penoyre & Prasad will now work with the college to draw up a long-term masterplan intended to ‘significantly increase’ residential and academic accommodation for its community while respecting its Modernist heritage.

Wolfson College president Tim Hitchens said: ‘Wolfson is delighted to be working with Penoyre & Prasad as we envisage the college’s future.

‘Oxford colleges are enduring organisations, who think long-term; we are home and workplace; our people come from 69 different countries and all ages. So our future built environment needs to reflect those special characteristics. We look forward to working together with a great architectural practice.’

Penoyre & Prasad said: ’It is a privilege to be commissioned for this exciting and complex project. We look forward to working closely with the Wolfson community to sensitively enlarge the estate in a way that continues a very distinguished architectural heritage that is itself a reflection of the egalitarian, international and open-spirited culture of the college.

‘Both client and architect also want to ensure that the masterplan addresses the climate emergency and resource scarcity.’

Overlooking the River Cherwell, the college has three Modernist quadrangles and was awarded Grade II-listed status in June 2011. Wolfson is home to about 650 graduate students with approximately 200 Fellows and almost 800 common room members.

Wolfson’s first principal was the acclaimed political theorist, Isaiah Berlin.

The appointment comes nine months after Penoyre & Prasad and White Arkitekter won a contest to design a major new eye-care, research and educational facility at St Pancras Hospital in Camden, London.

Last year, Penoyre & Prasad completed a major refurbishment and extension of the Brutalist Lord Holford-designed 1960s Templeman Library at the University of Kent.

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