St Antony’s is one of Oxford University’s newer colleges but the estate previously suffered a lack of presence and a disparate grouping of buildings at odds with its highly acclaimed academic reputation. Bennetts Associates’ design has addressed these issues in a highly symbolic manner that roots St Antony’s firmly in the Oxford College tradition. The new buildings announce the location of the college prominently on the Woodstock Road, frame an engaging main entrance sequence and enclose the central quadrangle for the very first time. In combination with a strong contemporary expression, the physical identity of St Antony’s has been transformed and now sits confidently amongst its peers.
The palette of Cotswold stone, bronze and walnut are quintessentially Oxford in character yet highly contemporary. The warm tones of the bronze sit comfortably with the surrounding Cotswold stone and the patina that develops over time will firmly root the buildings in their context, bringing a unique and developing character to the buildings.
The bronze has been delicately articulated to define each of the functions in the building; standing seam sheets for the bedrooms and folded panels for the Porter’s Lodge, offices and seminar rooms. Each study bedroom has its own bronze panel, allowing students to identify their own room whilst the stone grid unifies the whole.