Location: Oxford, UK
Completion date: 2013
The Mathematical Institute provides workspace for over 500 academics and support staff, and provides education space for international research fellows, lecturers, and undergraduates. In keeping with the overall master plan, the massing and exterior of the Mathematical Institute is sensitive to the historic buildings adjacent to the site. The building also has the opportunity to set the standard for future sustainable design across the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter; it incorporates a site-wide energy center, housing a combined heat and cooling system linked to over 100 energy piles, which is capable of further expansion as the site is developed. In addition, the project relies upon natural ventilation to all faculty offices enhanced by nighttime purging and exposed concrete soffits. The building envelope incorporates motorized solar shading to minimize solar gain, green roofs and a rainwater/grey water recycling system, all of which contribute to the BREEAM Excellent rating achieved at design stage.The building may appear somewhat introverted with faculty offices acoustically isolated to allow for individuals work habits. The atrium, however—the social heart of the building—is light-filled and spacious with a glazed clerestory. Punctuated by informal gathering spaces, the atrium stretches nearly the entire length of the building to encourage collaboration by enabling visual connections and impromptu meetings between faculty members on all floors. A series of pedestrian bridges and feature stairs provides necessary circulation and animate the multistory space.
Executed by Arzu Senel at Rafael Vinoly Architects. All images courtesy of Rafael Vinoly Architects