The new Academic Wing at Wolfson College links to the Grade II listed Powel & Moya designed graduate college at Wolfson built in 1970 and includes an integrated entrance and the new Leonard Wolfson Auditorium, as well as seminar and study rooms, cafeteria, and a library extension. The building combines in-situ flat slabs and soaring in-situ roof beams supported on expressed precast band beams which sit upon precast columns. The circular precast columns, are bush-hammered with a white-calcinated exposed aggregate finish, and were cast with shadow gaps to match the existing.
The structurally challenging geometry of the auditorium and seating roof was formed in in-situ concrete with a high-quality exposed finish. The raked seating was constructed with a soffit that curved in elevation and plan. The exposed concrete roof beams fan out from the chimney, cast in four segments with a top shutter to control forming.
The building mirrors the original brutalist architecture but with better thermal performance. The exposed precast band beams and columns are primary load-bearing elements supporting the in-situ flat slab along its perimeter but with a thermally broken connection. The thermal break detail uses exposed stainless steel reinforcement protruding from the precast elements, cast into the in-situ structure along the line of insulation.
The finely detailed expressed concrete provides a durable, low maintenance, finish complementing the original Powell & Moya college.