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Blavatnik School of Government

Blavatnik School of

Image by Motacilla
Blavatnik School of Government

Architect: Herzog & de Meuron

Client: University of Oxford

Project completion: 2016


David Bonnett Associates were appointed in 2012 to work closely with architects Herzog and de Meuron in the development of the Blavatnik School of Government, within the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter in Oxford. The aim from the outset was to ensure that the completed building was fully inclusive.


One of the building’s grand gestures is a wide staircase leading down to the 3 auditoriums on the lower floor.  The gently spiralling stair incorporates steps for seating, as well as meeting areas, on its outer curve while the inner curve comprises a ‘Part M compliant’ stair. In addition to the staircase there are multiple lifts to all levels. Meeting areas at top and bottom of the stairway complement the meeting areas at intervening levels of the stair. Each of the three auditoriums on the lower ground floor includes spaces for 18 wheelchair users and latest technology, audio support for both hearing impaired people and foreign language speakers.

Fire compartmentation arrangements have been designed so that two of the three lifts can be used for emergency egress with the result that, in the event of fire, all wheelchair users can leave the building without special assistance.


Shortlisted for the 2016 RIBA Stirling Prize

RIBA National Award 2016

RIBA South Client of the Year 2016

RIBA South Award 2016.

Best Use of Civil Engineering in a Building Project in South East England by Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

Oxford Preservation Trust Award 2016 –  New Building category

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Blavatnik School of Government
Image by Cmglee
Blavatnik School of Government
Image by Jonas M. 
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