Oxford Building Excellence
Oxford Building Excellence tours – celebrating the teams behind Oxford’s best new or refurbished buildings
Oxford Building Excellence (OBE) is a joint initiative between Beard and Oxford Preservation Trust (OPT) to teach people about constructing or refurbishing landmark buildings in Oxford. The programme runs from 2014 to 2019 and provides rare opportunities to visit a range of buildings to hear at first hand from the construction team before the buildings are open to the public.
OBE will provide the chance to meet and question expert speakers from the project team who can share their in depth personal experience of how to design, construct or restore a building. These experts will be the architects, engineers or contractors with in depth personal experience of the build and they can reveal their struggles and achievements.
The projects will either be breathtaking new buildings or refurbishments of iconic Oxford buildings
Spaces are limited therefore admission is by invite only. Invitations are automatically sent to all corporate members . To find out more about the Oxford Preservation Trustor to find out about becoming a corporate member
What sites have we visited
Oxford Building Excellence was officially launched in May 2014 at the award-winning Edward King Chapel at Cuddesdon when the Principal The Revd. Martyn Percy, the architect Niall McLaughlin and Beard shared their vision and expertise in creating this stunning new Chapel for the College
This was followed by a visit to the University Church of St Mary The Virgin sensitively restored by Beard and a sell-out tour for OPT members.
In July 2014 we visited the cleverly designed John Henry Brookes building at Oxford Brookes. Designed by Design Engine Architects the building has won a regional and national RIBA award. On entering the building, the visitor is wowed by the space; it is open, light and modern but with a focus on creating spaces for people to interact with each other in a welcoming informal way
In March 2015 The Blavatnik Building which was still under construction, was visited. Laing O’ Rourke kindly showed us around. The building was very impressive with extensive areas of glazing and spiral exposed concrete staircases inside. Laing O’ Rourke had the difficult task of negotiating the installation of the world’s largest piece of glass. People thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to ask the team questions.
June 2015 saw the first visit to The Westgate Centre. This new retail, accommodation and cinema complex will completely change the shopping experience in Oxford and will be finished at the end of 2017. When we visited, the scheme was in its infancy with the basement being constructed.
Worcester College – The Nazrin Shah Lecture Theatre, designed by Niall McLaughlin
June 1 st
The Queen’s College- Basement library, designed by Rick Mather Architects
October 1st tbc
Return visit to The Westgate
See the Oxford Preservation Trust’s website Events page