A challenging and sensitive construction of a new auditorium in the centre of Corpus Christi College which blends seamlessly with its 300 year-old surroundings.
Construction of this new auditorium, the first major building scheme for the College in 300 years, required a highly sympathetic and sensitive approach. The new complex had to be built into the ancient city wall and was bounded by Grade 1-listed buildings. Detailed planning was required to manage extremely difficult access, demanding acoustic requirements and the logistics of some 70 specialised contractors.
The building incorporated a range of building materials, new and old, including steel, natural stone and glass. Careful preservation and repairs to the city wall and bastion, both scheduled monuments, was also undertaken by the Beard project team.
The scheme features large, frameless picture windows which allow natural light into the auditorium and there are sliding glass screens to the entrance foyer. These all use specialised acoustic and tinted glass. A skylight above the auditorium gives views up to the neighbouring Christ Church Cathedral, while a roof terrace provides views over the city wall and across Christ Church Meadow to the river.
- The site was land-locked with no vehicle access or space for a tower crane. Materials were brought in across Christ Church Meadows and Corpus Christi gardens. A specially designed loading platform and access gantries plus mini crawler cranes were required
Constructing the building in a confined space: Managing the flow of materials and labour across the neighbouring land required very careful planning to minimise disruption to college life and local residents. Many stakeholders were involved, including the College, English Heritage, planners, designers and archaeologists. A team approach, proactive issue resolution and strong daily communication helped ensure the overall success of the project.
“Paul’s [Beard Project Manager Paul Renton Rose] contribution to the ultimate success of the project was immense, and he and his colleagues have produced an iconic building for the College.”
Colin Holmes, Domestic Bursar, Corpus Christi College
Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Ridge & Partners
Form of contract
JCT Intermediate 05