Oxford Martin School project scoops architecture award

09 May 2014

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The architects who designed the redevelopment of the Oxford Martin School, Berman Guedes Stretton, have won a prestigious award from RIBA, the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The transformation of the building was one of 11 regional award winners named at the RIBA South awards, held at Mercedes Benz World in Weybridge, Surrey. The annual awards recognise excellence in building design, including important aspects such as accessibility, sustainability and conservation. Other winners included the new Mathematical Institute for the University of Oxford.

Hamish McMichael, director of Oxford-based Berman Guedes Stretton said: “We are delighted to receive this recognition from our peers, for a sensitive redevelopment of an iconic Oxford building.

“Any award recognising design excellence is obviously gratifying for the design team, yet the whole of the University, including the Academic Department and Estates Team should be equally proud, as good architecture is not possible without good patrons.”

The project involved the refurbishment and adaptation of Basil Champney’s Old Indian Institute, to create a adaptable centre for the Oxford Martin School. Challenges included improving access into the building, creating a 160-seater lecture theatre with magnificent views of Broad Street, whilst discretely improving the services and creating a light and inspiring working environment.

Working around the historical buildings of Oxford meant that a new staircase had to be lifted by crane over the top of the building from Catte Street to a Hertford College quad at the rear.