Oxford Brookes University

Masterplan and Redevelopment

Oxford, UK

Completed 2014


Stephen worked on the project with

Design Engine Architects Ltd.


Upon moving to the United Kingdom Stephen spent two years working on Design Engine's RIBA Award Winning and Stirling Prize midlisted Oxford Brookes University project.   Having won the project in competition, Design Engine's brief was to masterplan the Headington Campus and then deliver both the Abercrombie Building extension and the new John Henry Brookes Building. Accommodation includes a new library, main social learning space, lecture theatres, student services centre, teaching accommodation and commercial/retail space.


Stephen worked as an integral part of the project's talented design team during RIBA Stages E-K, helping to produce the technical documentation and detailing necessary to make the building a reality.   In this regard, Stephen ran the day to day operations of 3 of the building's design packages.   First, to construct and maintain the computer models of the building, integrating all of its distinct packages into a cohesively designed 3d plan.   Second, to maintain the general setting out drawings for the entire project, ensuring that the various packages were equally as coordinated in 2 dimensional drawings.


Finally, Stephen led the development of the joinery, interiors and colour coordination across the University, with a combined construction budget of approx £5m.   Of all of the joinery pieces within this package, the most important and exciting was the interior of the 300-seat Main Lecture Hall. The guiding principles in designing this space were to maximise the potential size of any projection screen, to integrate the acoustic requirements of the space within the architecture itself and to create a space with both the prestige and warmth of many grand lecture halls and theatres past, a space that students would want to be in.


For the rest of the University, the variety of joinery pieces dispersed thoughout were given a tangible connection through the language of "ribbons", weaving and folding across and through spaces in order to connect various spaces, including one 70m long golden yellow ribbon that stretches the length of of the Pooled Teaching building, connecting the central learning space to the food hall at the end of the campus.  All design decisions were aimed at bringing people and spaces together.


Stephen remains grateful for the wealth of insight gained from his time working on this project and would like to congratulate the directors and all the project's staff for all of the accolades it has received.