Cohen Quad wins RIBA South Award
The Alison Brooks Architects scheme Cohen Quad, Exeter College in Oxford has won a RIBA South Award, 2022. Civic Engineers were appointed as civil and structural engineers to the design for the £25m development which completed in 2020.
The design includes a 200-seat auditorium, cultural facilities, musical performance rooms, café, library and archive for the college’s priceless collection, teaching facilities and 140 student bedrooms.
The site was the original Ruskin College and the 1912 listed facade was retained as part of the redevelopment. A new basement level has been formed across the entire site plan with secant piled walls installed in close proximity to the retained façade and party walls. The ground has a high-water table and flotation is resisted via the piles.
Much of the structure is exposed with extensive use of fair faced concrete (also providing thermal mass for the environmental strategy), glulam is used for framing the auditorium and colonnade, whilst the curved roof is formed with steelwork.
Finalists for the RIBA National Awards, taken from the regional winners, will be announced in the coming weeks. Meanwhile the project will feature alongside other Regional Award winners in the May issue of the RIBA Journal, and in a public exhibition in the first-floor gallery, at RIBA’s London HQ, from 9-24 May.