New College – Kimber Wing
The Kimber Wing is a new single storey building perpendicular to the city wall at New College, Oxford. It provides study bedroom suites for students with high levels of disability. These are the most accessible student rooms in Oxford, what Chancellor Chris Patten called a ‘gold standard’. It enables students who would otherwise not be able to come the University to study there.
The new building is part of a project which involved refurbishing and upgrading a group of listed buildings to form a small landscaped courtyard, Morris Court. To the north is the listed Morris Garage, 21 Longwall Street, whose south facade, previously remodelled in 1980, was re-clad and its central archway converted into a common room. The east of the courtyard is formed by a group of listed houses dating from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Internal alterations included adding bathrooms and showers to bring the accommodation up to modern standards of comfort. To the south of Morris Court is the 12th century city wall and its north eastern corner bastion.
Below ground, but marked on the landscape by a low wall and a change of level, is the second, outer city wall. The new courtyard and the slype are connected by a sinuous inclined pathway.
Views of the city wall from Longwall Street are preserved by the low roof form of the Kimber Wing. Two tiled flanks conceal a series of zinc clad dormers with clerestory windows. The roof form enables the new building to have a deep plan form and maintain good levels of daylight and sunlight in the study bedrooms.
Place-making. The project has changed an under-loved gravelled garden into a coherent landscaped courtyard. The planting was designed by New College Gardens Fellow Robin Lane-Fox.
Conservation of listed buildings. The surrounding listed buildings, 18-21 Longwall Street, were repaired and conserved to provide an appropriate modern standard of student accommodation. Ensuite bathrooms were sensitively inserted, acoustic separation and fire safety were improved. The buildings were repaired, including new timber framing, lime renders, and extensive stone repairs on the Longwall elevation. The works have improved standards of insulation and services in the existing buildings
The new building is clad in timber to emphasise its garden-like qualities, and to contrast with the masonry of the medieval city wall.
The project was nominated by Oxford City Council’s Conservation Officer for an Oxford Preservation Trust Award. Link to New College Living Heritage page here.
- Oxford, UK
- Job Architect
- Caitriona O'Connor, Marcus Beale Architects
- Quantity Surveyor & Project Management
- Austin Newport Group
- Inclusive Design Consultancy
- David Bonnett Associates
- Structural Engineers
- SFK Consulting
- Services Engineers
- QODA Consulting
- Drainage Engineers
- Lawfull Associates