The Rhodes Building, Oriel College


Rhodes Building Renewal

An origami roof

The Rhodes Building on Oxford's High Street has been subtly transformed by a new 'origami' roof. The project adds an extra floor to the... Read More.

Rhodes Building Renewal

An origami roof

The Rhodes Building on Oxford’s High Street has been subtly transformed by a new ‘origami’ roof. The project adds an extra floor to the Grade II* listed building. It is part of a major refurbishment including the provision of a new lift, and upgrading of the internal accommodation.

Accessibility and landscape

Landscape works in St Mary’s quad achieve level access to the majority of the building, the final link in a programme of landscape works to give full accessibility to all the quads of the college. A curved, raised ramp doubles as a platform for performances during the May ball. On the High Street elevation, the ground floor window cills were lowered and glass doors installed in the central archway to increase the visual openness between the college and the city. New railings have been installed matching closely Campneys’ original design.

History

Basil Champneys (1842-1935) designed this Edwardian baroque building which completed in 1911.  The money to build came from the will of Cecil Rhodes (1853-1902) a former undergraduate of the college.  The building forms the north range of St Mary’s Quad and presents a formal collegiate facade to the High Street opposite St Mary’s church. The additional floor was possible because original designs by Champneys showed a higher, although plain, copper roof, and the new dormers counterpoint the Dutch gables of Champney’s design, preserving the variegated skyline.  The new work is uncompromisingly modern yet follows the logic of the original building.  The new copper roof is un-patinated so that the building will age and change gracefully over time.

Institutional culture

This is Marcus Beale Architects’ fifth built project at Oriel College, Oxford. Previous works include alterations the Lodge, Provosts’ Lodgings, Chapel and Library, all Grade I listed. MBA also prepared the Conservation Management Plan and Master Plan for the college.

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Dates
2015
Location
Oxford, UK

Project Architect
Marcus Beale
Job Architect
Daniel Shabetai