Ruskin College runs further and higher education courses for adult learners, particularly those who have had no previous access to education at this level. This new project involved consolidating their campus which was split across two sites, to a single campus on the Headington site.
We have undertaken extensive consultation with planners, users and the local community about the proposals for the College on the new site which includes listed buildings and is set in a beautiful 19th century landscape setting.
Our design for a new extension to the Listed Rookery building accommodates the College’s main teaching and learning spaces and includes significant alteration and refurbishment to the listed building, removing poor quality additions and enabling an elegant transition between listed and new spaces. The masterplan for the whole site takes into consideration the experience of both students and staff walking around the site, accommodates parking, improved access, delivery and below ground services, whilst enhancing the setting of the Listed buildings and the existing mature trees, creating new external spaces for the College. The scheme is generated from our sustainability principles to reduce energy demand and is designed to be low carbon.
The interior scheme maximises light with a void pulling light from windows above down through the interior. Study areas are located adjacent to full height windows whilst the library’s reference shelving is located further into the floor plate.
In order to create a focused environment the acoustics of the interiors were created through wrapping the triple height void with timber acoustic panelling which reflects the natural surroundings of the college. Timber is used as a motif throughout the space, from exposed timber beams in the seminar rooms to timber detailing on the reception desk, creating a palette of natural and calming finishes.
“All the students and staff at Ruskin College are thrilled with our new building. It really lifts the spirits to be somewhere so light, bright and truly beautiful. The architects have done exceedingly clever things with the views, the glimpses through between old and new, the revealed features of the listed building and the technical demands of a twenty-first century educational building. We can’t thank them enough.”
Professor Audrey Mullender, Principal