"Within such an onerous set of constraints, the resultant building is both an essay in conservation and a work of great clarity and invention"
RIBA Awards 2010 judge
The building site lies in the southwest corner of the college within a Bastion of the 13th century City wall. A flexible space was created to accommodate seminars, 136-person lectures, drama, music, a 40-person round-table, banquets for 80 diners and college parties.
The new building replaces the existing smaller music room. A skylight above the theatre gives views up to Christ Church Cathedral, and a large picture window opposite gives views back to the trees of the College gardens.
Relocation of the Gardener's facilities formed part of the enabling works for the new Multi-purpose auditorium at Corpus Christi College and a new greenhouse was designed and constructed as a display case in which the gardener can display his wares.
"This scheme, won in an invited RIBA Competition, sets the desire to provide a new multi-purpose performance space against the need to retain precious open space. The solution is both ingenious and simple: to occupy a corner enclosed by a thirteenth-century city wall and one of its bastions, burying the auditorium within these structures and wrapping new gardens over the top. The site is within a scheduled ancient monument, a registered garden, a conservation area and a site of great archaeological importance, while the adjoining college buildings are all Grade I listed. Within such an onerous set of constraints, the resultant building is both an essay in conservation and a work of great clarity and invention."
Tony Chapman, RIBA Awards 2010 judge
Relocation of the Gardener's facilities formed part of the enabling works for the new Multi-purpose auditorium at Corpus Christi College. The site replaced cycle sheds in Garden quad which forms part of the registered gardens and is surrounded by Grade1 Listed buildings.
The facilities are largely masked by an existing stone wall. A structural glass box - made from four pieces of laminated glass and structural silicone- sits on stone plinth protruding from the wall and forms a display case in which the gardener can display his wares. The glass box occupies the depth of the adjacent flower beds which enables the diverse planting in the beds to merge with the display planting in the greenhouse.
The romantic gardens at Corpus are revered by many and the new display case gives the gardener the opportunity to cultivate his diverse collection of plants and objects on public display.
Civic Trust Award
Education Architect of the Year
Corpus Christi College
RIBA Buildings of the Year
Tony Chapman - Jan 11
The Architects' Journal
Rick Mather unveils Oxford scheme
Richard Vaughan - 21 December 2007