Located between Banbury and Woodstock Roads within the North Oxfordshire Conservation Area, the new HB Allen Centre at Keble College includes over 250 student bedrooms, lecture theatres, innovative research facilities, offices, student hubs and a café.
The 250 student bedrooms are the key element of the scheme and many of the bedrooms are arranged in clusters that share generous kitchens to encourage social interaction. The new spaces are focused around a contemporary interpretation of the archetypal Oxford Quadrangle.
Although primarily new build, the project retains the existing Acland House, built in 1895, which was propped up on temporary piles in order that a basement could be driven through below. Only 2mm of movement was experienced during the demolition and construction.
The full basement below the site is largely given over to two innovative research groups - Oxford Science Innovation and Oxford Robotics Institute, a component of Oxford University Engineering Sciences. Sunken gardens and skylights provide daylight to the basement spaces.
G&T's first involvement with the project was in 2006 to support MICA (formerly Rick Mather) Architects in their successful design competition entry. Demolition of the existing Acland Hospital buildings on the site commenced in July 2016, prior to construction starting later that year.
The HB Allen Centre was formally opened on 3rd October 2019 by HRH the Duke of Cambridge.