St. Anne's College,
Oxford

Client

St. Anne's College

St. Anne’s College comprises a rich tapestry of buildings from different periods, from former Victorian villas fronting Bevington Road to the north, the prominent and central Grade II listed Hartland House by Giles Gilbert Scott ( 1938-5 ) through to the more notable and recent pavilion buildings by Howell Killick Partridge and Amis (1966 ). Apart from the arrangement around the central lawn there appears to be an absence of a spatial organisational structure. However the individual buildings/pavilions imbue the College with an air of intimacy.

The brief is for 130 en-suite study bedrooms, four seminar/’break-out’ rooms and an 80 seat lecture theatre, located in the gardens between the Bevington Road villas and Hartland House.

The competition entry is an elaborate ‘stitching’ exercise and contains the study bedrooms in four 4-storey pavilions. These respond to the articulated arrangement of the villas to the north, and propose an arcaded courtyard to Hartland House, whose precedent is the Canterbury Quadrangle, at St. John’s College generating a new axis to the central lawn.

Transparent, staircases articulate each pavilion, and optimising the sectional arrangement of the site, give level access via external galleries to the upper ground floor of the villas. Beneath each gallery is a seminar room which defines a ‘secret garden’ to each villa at the lower ground floor. In this way the permeability and glimpse into the College from Bevington Road is maintained. The westerly most pavilion seeks to create a compositional dialogue/infill between the HKPA gate house and 58/60 Woodstock Road. Similarly the lecture theatre pavilion encloses the arrangement to the east, creating a visual infill between
35/37 Banbury Road.