28 June 2022
Ambitious plans for new student accommodation at St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, received planning consent from Oxford City Council this week.
The new student accommodation project encompasses new undergraduate accommodation, gym and academic support facilities as part of a second phase of development at the College. This new project will enable the College to realise its wish to be able to offer accommodation to all those undergraduates who want it, for the duration of their degree.
St Hilda’s College appointed Design Engine in 2019 and tasked the practice with formulating a proposal which respects and enhances the grounds of the College and its stunning location on the banks of the River Cherwell, opposite the Oxford Botanic Garden. The site includes a Grade II listed student residential building designed by Peter and Alison Smithson (formally opened as the Garden Building in 1971) and the Jacqueline du Pré Music Building by van Heyningen and Haward Architects which was opened in 1995.
The development will create modern collegiate living and stay true to the informal character of St Hilda’s grounds. Rather than one large building, the needs of the College will be met across three buildings, each responding sensitively to the landscape and maintaining space and views between them.
This project will give St Hilda’s College the final tranche of new student rooms that ensures we remain competitive with other colleges when offering all undergraduates accommodation for all years of their first degree. The buildings have been set in our bucolic gardens and riverside location in a way that enhances the experience both of our immediate gardens and grounds and the wider landscape running up to the edge of the City of Oxford.Neil Hyatt \ Head of Buildings & Projects – St Hilda’s College
It’s a great privilege to be given the opportunity to contribute to this unique riverside setting with a series of buildings that complete the edge of the college before it transitions into meadow and rural landscape. The adoption of Passivhaus and low carbon construction will contribute to what we hope will become an exemplar in contemporary student accommodation.David Gausden \ Director at Design Engine