Development plans for Wadham College approved

Project granted planning permission by Oxford City Council

March 7 2018

Proposals to develop a new undergraduate centre and Oxford’s first dedicated access facility on the Wadham College site in Parks Road have been granted planning consent.

Improving access to Wadham and its buildings are key to this development. The two new buildings will enable the College to expand and develop its work with students from disadvantaged ‘widening participation’ backgrounds. Celebrating inclusivity, they provide level access to every part of the two buildings and accessible student accommodation.

The Dr Lee Shau Kee Building is designed to house the College’s extensive access and outreach programme. This dedicated access facility in Oxford will offer purpose-built space for welcoming schools and hosting Wadham’s innovative access programmes and residential summer schools. The building will have a dedicated music room, space for public lectures and student accommodation.

The William Doo Undergraduate Centre will be at the heart of the student community and have study areas, social spaces, an art room, café, e-hub and Junior Common Room where undergraduate students can gather to study, exchange ideas and socialise.

These two buildings are designed to radiate openness. Modest in scale, but high in aspiration, they express the liberal and egalitarian values of the College and create a sense of belonging for students and staff. Reflecting changes in the way students work and socialise, they are open and transparent, and use the life of the College to animate the buildings.

Chair of Oxford City Council’s Planning Committee, Councillor Louise Upton, described the buildings as “quite fabulous” at the meeting where planning approval was given.

Warden of Wadham College Ken Macdonald QC said: “This inspiring new Undergraduate Centre and purpose-built facilities for access and outreach, the first of their kind in Oxford, signal our faith in the College’s future, and mark its continuing confidence in the harmony between learning and beauty that our foundation buildings express so well.”

Work on the new undergraduate and access centre is set to start in July 2018 with the building completed by August 2020.