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Rival schemes in Oxford Station contest revealed

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Allford Hall Monaghan Morris and John McAslan + Partners are among six practices competing in an anonymous ideas contest to overhaul Oxford’s main railway station

The firms are joined by AHR, Allies and Morrison, Rick Mather Architects and Wilkinson Eyre Architects in the high-profile, RIBA-organised competition.

The full shortlist

  • AHR
  • Allford Hall Monaghan Morris
  • Allies and Morrison
  • John McAslan + Partners
  • Rick Mather Architects
  • Wilkinson Eyre Architects

Backed by Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council, the contest sought conceptual ideas to transform the station and its surroundings into a new landmark rail interchange.

The six participants’ unnamed proposals have been revealed to the public ahead of the announcement of three winners and a ‘people’s favourite’ later this month.

It is understood a development partner or architect could be appointed later on following a separate public tender.

Niall McLaughlin of Niall McLaughlin Architects – which won planning for a new quadrangle at St Cross College in Oxford last year – commented: ‘It is good news they have chosen to run a design competition for this particular site.

‘It is a very important point of access to the city. The urban design of the space in front of the station will be a key component of resolving this significant gateway project.’

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, leader of Oxfordshire County Council said: ‘The redevelopment of the train station is crucial if we are to maintain Oxford’s status as a world-class city and it also plays a significant role in the economic vitality of Oxford and Oxfordshire.

He continued: ‘Further investment in this critical transport interchange will be needed to help businesses thrive and ensure Oxfordshire remains an attractive location for investment.’

Oxford City Council Leader, councillor Bob Price added: ‘The two Councils are working closely with our partners, the industry and the Department of Transport to promote the economic case for a vastly improved landmark station that is befitting of our world-class city.’

AHR completed a masterplan for the station – featuring a new bus station, multi-story car park and development opportunities – in 2014.

Nearby landmarks include Dixon Jones’ Saïd Business School which saw its second phase west wing completed in 2013.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Intruiging choice between five 'polite / tasteful / bit dull' schemes, and one 'eye-catching / instantly memorable / Marmite' scheme (F). Not at all obvious which of the six named practices would have come up with F. Whether offering something which might frighten the horses is a good strategy for winning a competition is an interesting debating point.

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