Mansfield occupies one of the most attractive and open sites in Oxford, close to all the libraries and shops, yet in a quiet position near to the University parks and River Cherwell. In 1886 Basil Champneys won a limited competition to provide the college with this home in Oxford. The accommodation he built houses the College's main public rooms.
It is in the Gothic Style and comprises the Chapel, Main Building (including Hall, Tower and Senior Common Room), the Library and the Principal's Lodgings. These buildings have been Grade II* listed. Students lived off site until 1946. Currently 103 students are housed in mid to late 20C buildings grouped around the southern edge of the Quad. 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.
The completed masterplan will allow all undergraduate students to be accommodated at the main curtilage of the college. RMA were able to identify opportunities to create new buildings appropriately within the spaciously laid out grounds, and the potential to replace existing buildings in poor condition with proposals that through efficient planning will achieve a greater density of accommodation while retaining a high quality of space.
While the majority of the proposed accommodation will comprise student flats and bedrooms, Quad level spaces will be given over to communal facilities. Since the Hall, used for dining, was planned for a non-residential college, it is relatively small in size even for the number of students currently living on site
The increase in student numbers will create a requirement for expanded facilities, such as dining space and a new, larger, kitchen. RMA have also sought ways to relocate car parking away from the Quad, to enhance the appearance of the College as a whole.
Planning Permission and Listed Building consent has been gained for two of the building opportunities described by the masterplan. The first to be implemented is a series of changes to improve dining within the East Range, and to create a new build kitchen. The new Love Lane Building will be the next; providing 78 bedrooms on its upper floors, common rooms, and academic spaces at ground floor.