Work has begun on the Love Lane building at Mansfield College in Oxford, which will provide accommodation for students, as well as creating space for the new Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, and a 165-seat multipurpose lecture theatre.

The designs for the lecture theatre have been developed with the College and will provide a high quality and flexible space for lectures, film showings and performance which can in-turn spill out onto the adjacent external terrace. The Bonavero Institute of Human Rights' spaces have been jointly developed with Mansfield College and the University of Oxford Law Faculty and will be located around a double height lightwell which also forms the main entrance to the facility. These light-filled double-height spaces will link these lower levels, promoting open access and communication opportunities. On the ground floor we have created common rooms, which open on to a new sunken terrace set within a newly landscaped garden. A total of 73 en-suite student bedrooms will be located on the upper floors, many of which will have views over the Quad and towards the Chapel and East Range.

The innovative design makes use of a Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) frame for the top four levels of student accommodation. This system is made offsite and will be assembled far quicker than a traditional concrete frame and represents a reduction in carbon over a traditional construction method. The design has been developed in this way to reduce disruption to the day to day activities of the College as far as possible whilst also providing a durable and energy efficient design.

The Love Lane Building forms the second phase of an ambitious masterplan and estates development strategy for Mansfield College. Students lived off site until 1946 and in 2006 the college approached RMA to work with them in devising strategies for the development of their main campus, and in particular to realise their ambition to house all undergraduate students on this site.

Rick Mather Architects are delighted to continue to work with Mansfield College are excited about seeing the building appear on site and the far reaching benefits it will have for students and staff of the College when complete in 2017.