John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University by Design Engine | homify
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John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University

At the core of the concept is the ambition to bring cohesion to a disparate campus, integrating existing buildings with new central student facilities. These links provide fluid movement across the new campus for the first time, where academic spaces co-exist with social areas for the enjoyment of students and staff alike.

Above all, the scheme provides adaptable and flexible accommodation for changing curricula and teaching patterns. Designed from first principles for low-energy consumption in construction and in use, the John Henry Brookes and Abercrombie Building was designed to meet the University’s vision for a ‘holistic approach to enhancing the student experience’.

To achieve the vision, the new building needed to contain a critical mass of accommodation. This includes social learning spaces, main library, lecture theatre, teaching rooms and catering. To give cohesion to the whole campus the core conceptual idea is of a central glowing box interpenetrated by pegs, which reach out to the existing campus. These pegs, whilst fulfilling the need for new and better university space, crucially provide the enclosure to a series of new but different external spaces.

The Colonnade peg running towards London Road forms the Eastern boundary to the new Piazza. The Abercrombie peg creates a new façade to the Southern edge of a re-modelled central courtyard. The Library peg relates to the internal Forum and creates a new north/south street. And finally the Pooled Teaching and Food Hall peg forms the edge to a future courtyard behind Sinclair as well as new western courtyard and terrace.

The main University reception is housed within the main building, overlooking the forum space. The main entrance area is intended as a place to pause. It is at this point that visitors will be welcomed and, particularly during open days, it is important that there is a generous space for people to gather.

Winner of 2014 RIBA National Award and Stirling Prize Midlist.

  • John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University by Design Engine Modern

    John Henry Brookes Building, Oxford Brookes University

    The forum space- focal area of new student hub incorporating lecture theatres, library, teaching spaces and a range of catering facilities.

  • JHBB library by Design Engine Modern

    JHBB library

    Glass fins which protect from sunlight and prevent overlooking of neighbouring residences.

  • JHBB Forum Space by Design Engine Modern

    JHBB Forum Space

    View of forum space and overhanging lecture theatre.

  • JHBB shared teaching by Design Engine Modern

    JHBB shared teaching

    Sun-dappled colour-coded teaching corridors.

  • JHBB Piazza by Design Engine Modern

    JHBB Piazza

    New main entrance for the university with piazza and weathered steel colonnade.

  • JHBB Forum Space by Design Engine Modern

    JHBB Forum Space

    Main staircase detail showing board-marked concrete walls.

  • Abercrombie Building by Design Engine Modern

    Abercrombie Building

    Atrium space in new School of Architecture.

  • JHBB Facades by Design Engine Modern

    JHBB Facades

    Coloured fins and weathered steel.

  • JHBB Forum Space by Design Engine Modern

    JHBB Forum Space

    View of central space with cantilevered lecture theatre and eating spaces.