Professor Margaret MacMillan
Warden, St Antony’s College, Oxford
The five-storey Gateway Buildings are a significant addition to St Antony’s estate, defining a new presence for the college on one of the main routes serving the city centre.
St Antony’s is one of Oxford University’s newer colleges but the estate previously suffered a lack of presence and a disparate grouping of buildings at odds with its highly acclaimed academic reputation. Bennetts Associates’ design has addressed these issues in a highly symbolic manner that roots St Antony’s firmly in the Oxford college tradition.
The new buildings announce the location of the college prominently on the Woodstock Road, frame an engaging main entrance sequence and enclose the central quadrangle for the very first time. In combination with a strong contemporary expression, the physical identity of St Antony’s has been transformed and now sits confidently amongst its peers. The project comprises a new main entrance, Porters’ Lodge, 54 en-suite study bedrooms, offices for college staff and meeting/work space within glazed rooftop pavilions.
The Gateway Buildings are highly sustainable and include a range of features from passive design principles such as sensible glazing ratios, natural ventilation and planted roofs to renewables systems such as ground source heat pumps fed from pipework under the lawned quadrangle and solar arrays for hot water production – the main energy demand in student residences.