Cohen Quad, Exeter College, Oxford
Civic Engineers were part of the winning design team in an open competition for the redevelopment of the Ruskin College campus in Oxford, for Exeter College – one of Oxford University’s oldest colleges.
We were appointed on the Alison Brookes Architects scheme 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.