Completed in October 2009, the project has been met with worldwide critical acclaim.

"Rick Mather Architects and Mace Group entered this bold project, which involved flattening half of the existing Ashmolean and attaching a six-storey extension to the 19th-century, grade I-listed Cockerell building, doubling the museum's capacity at a stroke. Classical and modern link seamlessly. Visitors go through the grand entrance of the Cockerell and into a new atrium with a grand staircase spanning five floors. They then wander over link bridges spanning double-height galleries, glimpsing other parts of the collection through glass panels. This provides a link between the collections - which span from Egyptian antiquities to 20th-century paintings - and helps visitors orientate themselves. Generous natural lighting also helps visitors find their way around and cuts energy use. Internal space has been maximised in this height-restricted project by putting ducting in the walls rather than the ceilings and using display cabinets to form part of the walls. Externally, the Cockerell building is still very much the public face of the Ashmolean - but the extension, hidden behind existing facades, provides an exhibit in its own right".
Building Awards judges

Rick Mather Architect's Art and Design Academy for Liverpool John Moores University was also a runner up in the Public Building Project of the Year category.

More than a thousand construction professionals gathered for the 16th annual Building Awards, the biggest construction industry event of the year at the awards ceremony at The Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane, London.

See Rick Mather, project architect Stuart Cade and Anthony Nagle of BAM explain the project for Building TV.