Oxford Beecroft, Urban

The urban significance and sensitivity of the Beecroft Building site demands a respectful and carefully considered architectural and landscape response. The confined urban site is highly constrained by the location of the existing notable buildings including Keble College and Chapel, the Clarendon Laboratory and Martin Woods Lecture Theatre, and also a mature cedar tree planted in 1880, Parks Road and the University Park.

The aim was to create a distinctive and high quality landscape environment; a new Quad for Oxford that will be of significant value and provide a setting for the Beecroft Building whilst acting as the front of house to the Science Area, contributing to the quality and diversity of the area.

The impressive Cedar tree is the focal point to the square with a raised permeable paving system to improve the porosity above the root zone.

There is an opportunity to reference the history & heritage of the Blue Atlantic Cedar dating from the 1880’s with public art that responds to the genius loci.

The project received overall winner of RIBA Awards South 2019 as ‘Building of the Year’.


Client: Oxford University
Architects: Hawkins\Brown
Landscape Budget: circa £1.15 million
Status: The Beecroft Building was officially opened by Sir Tim Berners-Lee on 17th September 2018

Ben Pipe Photography
Jim Stephenson
Jim Stephenson
Ben Pipe Photography