Oxford college chooses sustainable design for visitor centre

A new visitor centre has been completed at Christ Church College in Oxford with sustainable features, including a thatch roof and natural building materials.

The extensive project at Christ Church Meadow comprises both a newbuild development and the repurposing and conservation of a historic barn on site. Designed to deliver facilities and enhance visitor experiences for over 400,000 people who flock to the location each year, the new centre will now offer a shop, office, visitor facilities, a multi-use seminar area and interpretation space.

The newbuild part of the project has been designed to fit with the surrounding landscape and heritage buildings located nearby. Built for the purpose of housing the team that tends the grounds at Christ Church, the barn-type structure and outbuildings feature simple and traditional designs with thatched and pitched roofing. Natural materials such as stone, timber, thatch and slate were chosen for the way they weather over time to suit the surrounding landscape.

Architects in Tarporley, Oxford and other parts of the UK designing extensions must always be mindful that concepts do not spoil the aesthetic of the area once structures are built.

Rather than demolishing the existing 19th-Century barn at Christ Church, architects opted instead to refurbish and extend the existing structure, ensuring the design was sensitive to its Grade I listed grounds. At one time isolated, the historic barn has now been integrated into the centre, playing an important role welcoming visitors and becoming a hub for scholars and students at the college.

Posted by Mark
May 5, 2020

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