Herzog de Meuron Blavatnik School of Government Oxford University
Herzog & de Meuron architectural studio designed the new Blavatnik School of Government building at Oxford University. Its round shape recalls iconic buildings in Oxford such as the Radcliffe Camera and the Sheldonian Theatre and is reminiscent of the shape of government buildings all over the world.
The building evolves from the inside outwards, so that all the floors in the building can be seen from the big empty space in the middle of it. The architects gave concrete form to the client's need for transparency, openness and communication, working in close contact with the client, according to Ngaire Woods, Dean of Blavatnik School of Government, and Ascan Mergenthaler, Senior Partner with Herzog & de Meuron.
Architect Jacques Herzog explained that the Blavatnik School of Government project offered an opportunity to construct a new building with a connection to the traditional constructions around it. The inner courtyard, an element present in historic colleges, becomes an inner "forum", a space recalling halls of parliament and government buildings in general, and visually links all the building's levels to encourage informal interaction among students, professors and visitors.
Design: Herzog & de Meuron
Location: Oxford, UK
Images courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron photo by © Iwan Baan