St Antony’s College, Oxford
When you’re building a highly contemporary new addition to an Oxford College designed by a renowned architect, there’s no shortage of teams and stakeholders to accommodate.
As project managers on the creation of the Investcorp Building, designed by the late Dame Zaha Hadid to house the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College, our role was to keep everything to strict budget and quality constraints.
It was a challenging site to build in: relatively small and restricted, with protected buildings and trees, including a century-old Sequoia with an extensive root system that had to be preserved. (A drainage system was installed below the foundation slabs of the building to ensure the tree receives sufficient moisture.) However, the Investcorp Building sinuously weaves through the site connecting and incorporating all these elements while its stainless steel exterior gently reflects natural light around the enclosed space.
Despite the challenges of complex contractual arrangements and a limited contingency fund, a strong long term relationship with the client helped us to pilot this spectacular building project to its completion. At its completion in early 2015, a third of the contingency was untouched.
The Zaha Hadid Investcorp Building is a world-class structure for a world-leading client. Bidwells’ role was to steer the project along as straight a course as possible to minimise the issues for the client. A strong relationship with the College, along with ongoing communication, was key. The end result is a building to be hugely proud of, that beautifully conveys the evolution of the College and the ancient University and City around it.
Nick Pettit, Partner
The number of collections
of private papers held
by the Middle East Centre.
The age of the Sequoia
tree at the centre
of the site.