Univ Winner of Housing Design Awards 2022
The Univ North scheme, which will create a visionary landscape-driven multigenerational community in North Oxford, has won the Good Neighbour Award in the Project Category at the Housing Design Awards 2022.
The Award was given jointly to University College, Oxford (Univ), Níall McLaughlin Architects, planning consultant Barton Willmore and Oxford City Council at an award ceremony held in Manchester on 22 September. The award was presented by Sarah Allan, Head of Architecture, Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, and recognises the architecture in the context of the North Oxford Victorian suburb conservation area (NOVSCA).
David Birkbeck, Director of the Housing Design Awards and CEO at Design for Homes, said: “The scheme won overwhelming support at committee.” and went on to observe that “New accommodation is rarely this accommodating of its neighbours.”
During the award ceremony several highlights from the Univ North scheme were mentioned, including:
• The meticulous “Construction Environmental Management Plan”, which manages site traffic to minimise disruption.
• Lightweight cross laminated timber being used as the structural building material, which helps to reduce the carbon footprint and construction time.
• Windows that maximise natural daylight into the buildings and offer views out to the landscaped gardens (the design of which was led by Kim Wilkie).
• The landscaped design, which is sympathetic to its setting in a North Oxford Victorian suburb conservation area (NOVSCA), and meets the high expectations required for its front garden settings.
Valerie Amos, Master of Univ, said: “This is a very important recognition of our Univ North scheme. The commitment of our project team and the generous support that we have received from our alumni to enable our vision to become reality is much appreciated. Our students will benefit enormously as the project comes to fruition in the coming months and years.”
Andrew Grant, Univ North Project Director, said: “We are delighted to have had our Univ North scheme recognised in this way. We listened to our neighbours’ concerns through the public consultations in 2019 and responded with the amended scheme.”
Tilo Guenther, Associate at Níall McLaughlin Architects, said: “We’re delighted that we have received an award at this year’s Housing Design Awards. The Univ North scheme, with its visionary brief, will provide much needed accommodation and facilities to encourage and nurture a multi-generational community in the North Oxford Victorian suburb conservation area. We are looking forward to realising this landscape-led proposal with the College and the wider project team.”
The Univ North project team is currently evaluating the tender applications from three construction contractors, and the selection will be confirmed in October 2022. Site preparation and demolition will commence in November 2022, with the building work due to commence late spring 2023.
About the Univ North scheme
The Univ North new build project will provide additional accommodation comprising up to 150 en suite study bedspaces, a nursery with outdoor space for up to 54 children, café, gym, and study, meeting, and lecture spaces. The site also includes the existing Fairfield Residential Home. The enhanced collegiate community at Univ North will benefit from exceptional landscaped gardens, rejuvenated heritage orchards and an environment focused on wellbeing, sustainability and shared purpose.
You can read more about the College’s vision for its complementary community, and our latest developments, on the Univ North microsite.
About the Awards
The Housing Design Awards were set up in the same Act of Parliament as the NHS. The original purpose was to explain what residents think about innovative design and whether it can be replicated. It is the only Awards promoted by all five major professional institutions – Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Landscape Institute and Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists. There are 21 world class planning and design experts that judge the entries. All entry income is spent on assessment and then showcasing ideas to government and industry.