UK construction blog
Home > Architectural, Industry News > Robert Stern called in to to end competition deadlock at Oxford University

Robert Stern called in to to end competition deadlock at Oxford University

June 5th, 2009

Oxford University’s expansion is stalled by style wars

Robert Stern from Yale University has been parachuted into the midst of a prestigious competition for Oxford University because of  a “deadlock” over whether to chose a modern or classical architect.

The original shortlist for the £30 million Institute of Public Policy —  part of a wider £1.25 billion new university campus — featured Make and Dixon Jones, Wilkinson Eyre,  alongside traditionalist firms such as  Stanhope Gate and John Simpson & Partners.

But the university was split between the Dixon Jones and John Simpson proposals and now hopes that Robert Stern who is the dean of Yale’s School of Architecture and describes himself as a “modern traditionalist”, may well be able to appease both sides — as well as the Russian oligarch believed to be funding the building.

“There was a feeling that Robert Stern could break the deadlock as he straddled both camps,” a source said.

The project to build a new university campus on the former site of Oxford’s Radcliffe Infirmary was meant to demonstrate the university’s ability to match the Ivy League by building a new campus using private money, the project is planned to be carried out over the next 20 years.

However,  it has made little progress since Rafael Viñoly was hired in 2005 to draw up a masterplan, the latest incarnation of which was described late last year by Cabe as a “wholly inadequate framework for development” due to lack of context and long-term thinking.

A public exhibition of the Institute of Public Policy proposals, due to be held next week, was cancelled earlier this week with no explanation.

Robert Stern has never built in the UK, but has masterminded the redevelopment of Yale and has designed many libraries, courthouses and university buildings across the United States as well as masterplanning the town of Celebration in Florida for the Walt Disney Company, and the regeneration of New York’s Times Square.

There is also concern about other aspects of the campus development with critics claiming the commercial direction of the architecture as a whole is “more suited to a business park”.

The university has launched a fundraising drive, headed by philanthropist Vivien Duffield, to pay for university expansion but Duffield has yet to commit to funding a new £180 million Humanities Building, designed by Bennetts Associates because of concerns over the design including an underground library.

“Vivien doesn’t feel this is the kind of architecture she wants to sponsor.”

A spokesperson for the Clore Duffield Foundation confirmed it had considered a donation towards the humanities building, but had not yet reached agreement. “No contribution has been confirmed to any part of the project,” they said.

A university spokesperson refused to discuss the competition for the Institute of Public Policy or the funding of the Humanities Building, saying: “The university is currently taking a conservative view of any commitments on major capital projects until the global crisis works through the economy.

“Raising money for the first buildings to go up on the site is under way, but no projects have been confirmed as definite.”

Robert Stern’s office said that under the terms of his contract with Oxford University he could not comment.

Link To This Page
1. Click inside the codebox
2. Right-Click then Copy
3. Paste the HTML code into your webpage
codebox
powered by Linkubaitor
Tags:
  1. June 16th, 2009 at 06:14 | #1

    Hi! I like your srticle and I would like very much to read some more information on this issue. Will you post some more?

  2. admin
    June 16th, 2009 at 07:59 | #2

    Hi

    Yes, as news is released we may well post more about this project.

    Thank-you
    Admin

  3. CrisBetewsky
    July 6th, 2009 at 21:12 | #3

    Your site is worth beeing in the top cause it contains really amazing information.

  4. EvePlumb
    July 10th, 2009 at 09:20 | #4

    Today, Plumb resides in Laguna Beach, California, with her second husband Kenneth Pace, a business consultant. She works as an artist, has served as a member of the Laguna Beach Board of Adjustments/Design Review Board since February 2002, and was elected chair pro-tem of that board in February 2005. She served as pro-tem of the board until her third term expired in January 2008, at which time she declined to reapply for the board.

  5. Humberto
    August 30th, 2009 at 09:19 | #5

    Nice write up…usually I never reply to these thing but this time I will,Thanks for the great info 🙂

  6. Wasd Q.
    September 7th, 2009 at 16:08 | #6

    I don’t usually post but I enjoyed your blog a lot,Thanks alot for the great read 🙂

  7. Allen T.
    September 7th, 2009 at 18:31 | #7

    I don’t usually post but I enjoyed your blog a lot,Thanks alot for the great read 🙂

  8. Samud
    September 8th, 2009 at 09:57 | #8

    Great stuff!

  9. John G.
    September 9th, 2009 at 03:25 | #9

    Makes me want to start writing again.

  10. Wasd Q.
    September 10th, 2009 at 16:13 | #10

    Keep up the good work.

  11. Charles
    September 13th, 2009 at 04:31 | #11

    I find blogging one of the good ways of internet marketing. I have received a small number of visitors on my site especially from the sites where I commented their blogs.

  12. Royce
    September 17th, 2009 at 09:47 | #12

    I don’t usually post but I enjoyed your blog a lot.

  13. Camille
    September 22nd, 2009 at 13:02 | #13

    Thank you for a great blog, I will be sure to bookmark your site and check back later

  14. Jewel
    September 26th, 2009 at 16:18 | #14

    Thank you for a great blog, I will be sure to bookmark your site and check back later 🙂

  15. Chadhurbhu
    October 2nd, 2009 at 12:53 | #15

    Seems like you really took your time on this. Keep up the good work!

Comments are closed.