RIBA South Conservation Award

Wolfson Academic Wing, Wolfson College, Oxford | Berman Guedes Stretton

Berman Guedes Stretton were engaged by Wolfson College in 2009 to provide a new building comprising a new lodge, a 155-seat auditorium, cafeteria, 12 academic offices, three seminar rooms and a group workspace to connect with the existing college on three levels. Two existing floors were to be converted into new library spaces adjacent to the existing beautiful, but very small, library and a third floor of existing offices was to be re-planned and refurbished.

This building stuns and delights from the moment you set eyes on it. The materiality and attention to detail are awe-inspiring. This is a building that you want to stroke and embrace, to drink in. The Cornish granite is beautiful and allows all the materials to sing together. At every turn, the eyes and senses are stimulated. It is a joy to look at, touch and feel and to flow and circulate through. Its massing was cleverly measured in terms of adding to, enhancing and embracing the Powell and Moya building and, while being reverential, not being shy nor overwhelmed. This is a well-considered, balanced and extremely well-mannered addition to a splendid building, using all the contemporary tricks and benefits of the discipline today.

Source: RIBA