Blavatnik School of Government

Pell Frischmann’s innovative work on the Blavatnik School of Government aided its early completion and opening, whilst capturing awards such as the ICE Engineering Excellence for 'Best Use of Civil Engineering' 2016 and the RIBA National Award 2016.

Pell Frischmann’s innovative work on the Blavatnik School of Government aided its early completion and opening, whilst capturing awards such as the ICE Engineering Excellence for 'Best Use of Civil Engineering' 2016 and the RIBA National Award 2016.

The Blavatnik School of Government was a £45 million innovative academic center designed by architects Herzog and de Meuron for the University of Oxford, that pushed boundaries of modern architecture. With construction completed in 2015 and formally opened by Prince William in 2016, the school portrays a connected forum that hosts up to 550 people at a time, with two lecture theatres and one seminar hall seating 200 people for teaching and academic services. 

The building comprises of horseshoe and cylinder shaped blocks interweaving around lean curving glass panels, allowing for maximum light and space whilst resembling the university’s Radcliffe camera.

horseshoe and cylinder shaped blocks interweaving around lean curving glass panels, allowing for maximum light and space whilst resembling the university’s Radcliffe camera.

Ngaire Woods, Dean of the Blavatnik School of Government expressed the structural need of the building in bringing “people together around a central heart and express the values of openness, transparency and collaboration”. As a response, the layered formation generates a sequence of ring shaped pathways that freely curvatures the interior to create freedom for interaction between floors.

Pell Frischmann’s specialist support within this project consisted of Façade Engineering, Post Tension Concrete, Materials Research, and BIM.

Time history studies of the progressive deflection within the building were also undertaken to inform cladding design and construction sequencing. The use of BIM for the casting-in of various service runs was an essential aspect of the process due to the exposed nature of the frame.

Pell Frischmann were delighted to partner with Herzog and de Meuron in the development of this unique superstructure for the University of Oxford. 

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