<span>Exeter</span><span>College</span><span>
Cohen</span><span>Quad</span>

Exeter College Cohen Quad

Exeter College Cohen Quad, University of Oxford

The new 6,000m2 Cohen Quad at Walton Street expands Exeter College's existing facilities. Designed as a stand-alone campus, the new building includes accommodation for students and fellows, social learning spaces, a performance and lecture hall, a canteen, teaching facilities, music practice rooms, IT and games areas, a roof terrace, and offices.   

Following a competition, Max Fordham were appointed to provide MEP and Acoustics services, alongside Alison Brooks Architects. The governing body of the College tasked the design team to create a new campus that reinforced the values of the college and complemented the main Exeter College campus, while remaining adaptable in use and ageing gracefully.

Cohen Quad sits on a constrained city centre site, previously the home of Ruskin College. As a requirement of planning, the new building had to retain part of the existing facade, including the windows.

Wherever possible, the building utilises natural ventilation with manual and automatic openings, and utilises large amounts of exposed thermal mass to reduce the need for active conditioning. Through detailed coordination with the architect and structural engineer, most services are discreetly concealed within the exposed concrete.

A solar thermal array provides a large proportion of the building’s hot water requirements. Air source heat pumps provide cooling in the summer and low carbon heating in the winter. Over 20% of the building’s energy usage is generated on-site by these two technologies, in line with Oxford’s planning requirements of the time.

The passive archive relies on high thermal mass and carefully-controlled usage, along with a minimal amount of active plant to keep the internal conditions as stable as possible across the seasons.

A flexible acoustic strategy in the main Hall is critical to its success in serving lectures, drama and music.

Architect

Alison Brooks Architects

Value

£22M

Completion

2017

Client

Exeter College, University of Oxford

Paul Riddle Info
Cohen Quad Walton Street facade. Retained 1920s facade with new curved roof.
Hufton + Crow Info
Student bedroom overlooking glazed south cloister and south quad. The desk includes built-in task lighting as well as a separate angle poise task lamp.
Hufton + Crow Info
The 110 seat hall for lectures, performance and dining is mechanically ventilated with quiet, jet diffusers integrated into the stone wall. AV systems are carefully integrated into the design and acoustic plaster is used between the glulam beams to control excess reverberation. Bespoke folding acoustic wall panels allow flexibility for music and lecture uses.
Hufton + Crow Info
In the Learning commons and Hanging Room, light fittings are cast into the fair faced concrete soffit. High thermal mass is combined with manual and automatic window openings to naturally ventilate the space and maintain a comfortable internal environment. Aspirating smoke detectors remove the need for surface mounted smoke detectors.
Paul Riddle Info
New curved roof with Rimex tiles and dormer window for a fellow's set.
Hufton + Crow Info
The South Cloister leading through to the learning commons. LED lighting is built into the head of the glulam arches.

The view on entering Cohen Quad, showing the glulam arched south cloister leading to the Learning Commons, and a window seat off the South Quad.

Image: Hufton + Crow

Architect

Alison Brooks Architects

Value

£22M

Completion

2017

Client

Exeter College, University of Oxford

2018 World Architecture Festival, Higher Education and Research Completed Building of the Year

2018 World Architecture Festival, Higher Education and Research Completed Building of the Year

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