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Winners in Oxford Station contest revealed

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Wilkinson Eyre, Allies & Morrison and AHR have been named the joint winners of an anonymous ideas contest to overhaul Oxford’s main railway station

The three firms were chosen by a judging panel –advised by Joanna Van Heyningen of vHH Architects – featuring Network Rail, Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, the Department for Transport and Great Western Railway.

AHR was also named the ‘people’s favourite’ after receiving 70 per cent of the public vote in an exhibition of the anonymous designs.

The full shortlist

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

Organised 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.

Judging panel chair Fiona Piercy said: ‘We were delighted with the calibre of architects involved. They all produced excellent ideas making it very hard to choose the three winners.

‘The ideas will help us set the benchmark for architectural quality standards and raise ambitions for a new world class gateway station for Oxford, building on the completed work at Frideswide Square and linking to new schemes at Oxpens and the Westgate development.’

She continued: ‘We now need to work closely with Government and Network Rail and the private sector to secure the necessary mix of funding to deliver the next stage of the project. The design ideas will help us promote the best standards of architecture going forward.’

Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, Ian Hudspeth added: ‘These designs are visions of what the future of Oxford Railway Station could look like. We’re all very keen to see progress towards the creation of a world class railway station for a world class city.

‘The new station will have a pivotal role in Oxfordshire’s transport future, I look forward to the day when we see ideas like these become reality.’

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.

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

Citations

The judges thought that Wilkinson Eyre’s entry was appealing due to its single roof concept, and the way in which the design of the car-park and bus interchange supported an improved character for the whole area and improved its commercial potential.

Allies and Morrison’s entry was admired by the judges because of its simplicity of approach and very attractive main station building.

AHR’s entry was selected because the station design was original and impressive. The judges also liked the idea of a restaurant on the roof of the station itself.

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