New Undergraduate Centre and Aspiration Centre buildings for Wadham College, Oxford. The buildings are distinct from each other, with uniquely patterned facades that use varying degrees of transparency and opacity.

Eckersley O’Callaghan is providing facade engineering services for two new buildings on Wadham College’s historic Oxford site. The William Doo Undergraduate Centre will contain a range of social spaces to enhance and improve the interactions of the Wadham student community. The Dr Lee Shau Kee Building creates a welcome centre for prospective students visiting one of the college’s inspiration days or summer schools.

The intent of the Dr Lee Shau Kee Building is to be light and uplifting. The facade is composed of opaque areas which are clad in glass panels with contrasting vertical metal fins between them. Windows are inset. The opaque modules are formed between the framework of metal fins and are in essence a series of shadow boxes. Each box has a metal backing at the rear and a glass panel at the face. A pattern is applied to the glass panel, subdividing the module and reinforcing verticality, while creating texture on the facade at a finer scale.

The facade of the Undergraduate Centre plays with a similar idea of varying degrees of transparency, but in a distinct way that reflects its own identity and function.

The Undergraduate Centre wants to be an expression of horizontality, which is visible through the pattern applied to the glass facade. The facade of the Undergraduate Centre is composed of panels of clear and opaque glazing with an applied pattern of ceramic fritting to provide solar control in combination with insulated areas of facade.

Location
Oxford, UK

Client
Wadham College

Architect
AL_A