Designed by architect Gort Scott and built by Beard, the £20m Front of College project has given St Hilda’s a new main entrance, new teaching space and new student accommodation.
The development also includes a new Boundary Building to house the Middle Common Room, Chapel and Porter’s Lodge and a new riverside pavilion for entertaining.
The tower is crowned with aluminium leaves mounted around a steel frame, hand-painted with bespoke St Hilda’s gold.
Beard director Dean Averies said: “St Hilda’s has been a fantastic project for Beard to work on, especially as it marks a special anniversary for the college. We understood the constraints of the college from the start, so the two-stage procurement route gave us time to work through issues before we got to site.
“There were some challenges along the way as we had identified a number of significant gaps in the design information, which we had to fill to enable the project to progress. Of course, we subsequently had the ongoing restrictions due to coronavirus, which we were able to absorb and work around. However, we were able to hand over on schedule and delivered on the original vision to create an inspiring place to live, work and study.”
Neil Hyatt, head of buildings at St Hilda’s College, added: “Beard has worked tirelessly with the novated design team and subcontractors, to ensure that the best possible outcome was achieved for St Hilda’s College.
“Despite the challenges due to Coronavirus, as promised, our study rooms were ready on time for the start of the academic year. This was a collaborative project and the successful outcome was driven by contracts manager Steve Lambourne and his team. Everyone is stunned by the architecture, the quality of finish and above all Beard’s commitment, to meeting client expectations.”