New College’s new quad

Plans by David Khon Architects include 70 new student rooms and new facilities

New College are to put forward multi-million pound proposals for off-site accommodation built around a new quad. The proposals would see the creation of the college’s first new quad for more than a century.

The development would span 500 square metres on the college’s Savile Road site. Plans include seventy student rooms, shared dining facilities, a common room, and lecture theatre. A new entrance to the site would be created on Mansfield Road. The proposals also include plans to provide new facilities for New College School.

New College is yet to submit its plans to Oxford City Council. A spokesman said it was first seeking feedback from local residents.

The college is due to hold a public exhibition of early designs on Wednesday and Thursday next week. Residents are invited to view designs of the scheme between 3pm and 7pm at its Holywell street site.

The proposals have been drawn up by David Kohn Architects (DKA), who won a private competition hosted by New College last year. DKA were founded in London in 2007. If the plans go ahead, DKA will introduce a “stone façade that bisects the site, holding back rooms to the north from landscapes to the south. The wall gently curves in plan to create a horseshoe-shaped central land- scape room. It continues to meander until it meets two existing Victorian buildings, creating a second quad to the east and a new children’s play- ground for New College School to the west. The resulting landscape and building plans are equivalent, like two pieces of a jigsaw puzzle..”

Harry Samuels, Classicist at New College, told Cherwell, “While the style itself looks a bit strange, this will add sorely needed accommodation to New College, hopefully allowing third-year undergraduates to all live in finally. The addition of new practice rooms is also very exciting.”

New College warden Miles Young said, “This is a genuinely exciting plan and it will relieve pressure significantly on Oxford’s housing market. It also dramatically improves the facilities at New College School, while giving both college and community a new multi-purpose lecture hall. The plans are both striking and sympathetic.”

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The Oxford Design Review Panel, which vets planning proposals for the city council, backs the new designs for Savile Road.

Alex Hollingsworth, the city council’s executive board member for planning said, “The council’s planning policies support the provision of more purpose-built student accommodation, in order to reduce the pressure on housing across Oxford.

“While this scheme will eventually be judged on its merits, it is always good to see proposals of this kind come forward.”

The college was the first in Oxford to be designed around the now ubiquitous quadrangle. New’s Front Quad was completed in 1386.