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Oxford University’s Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College Investcorp Building open for visits Saturday 12 September with Oxford Open Doors

The new Investcorp Building for the Middle East Centre provides 1,127 square metres of additional floor space and a new 117-seat lecture theatre; complementing the college’s ongoing development. Its design weaves through the restricted site at St Antony’s College to connect and incorporate the existing protected buildings and trees; while its stainless steel façade softly reflects natural light to echo the building’s context. The Investcorp Building connects disparate buildings within the college, defining a series of spaces for the centre’s renowned archive, library and seminar programmes; allowing the Middle East Centre to expand its commitment as a vital forum of research, understanding and open debate.

To the west, the project’s scale defers to the existing buildings of 66 & 68 Woodstock Road. The curved form of library reading room’s western façade accommodates the century-old Sequoia tree and its extensive root network; while a drainage system has been installed below the foundation slabs to ensure the tree receives enough moisture. To the east, the archive reading room and librarians’ offices rise towards the height of the 1970 brutalist Hilda Besse Building it faces, yet the new Investcorp Building remains below the roofline of the adjacent 66 Woodstock Road.

The building integrates new academic and research facilities within a design defined by the existing built and natural environment of the college; maintaining the detached character of the college’s current buildings, allowing them to be read as separate elements, while introducing a contemporary building that conveys the past, present and future evolution of the college, university and city.

Opening on Saturday 12 September  11:00am – 3:00pm. No Booking Required.

Organised by: Oxford Preservation Trust and the University of Oxford as part of Oxford Open Doors: www.oxfordpreservation.org.uk

To download texts, data and drawings of the Investcorp Building: ZHA_Investcorp Building