At street level, it may look like not much is happening on the Northgate House redevelopment site at the moment but, behind the hoardings, building work is progressing at pace.

Our construction partner BAM has been installing the basement concrete columns that will support the ground floor, ahead of its installation in a few weeks’ time. Standing like giant chess pieces within the footprint of the new building, they give a great indication of the size and weight of concrete, stone and glass they will soon support.

Once completed, this landmark building (designed by MICA) will be home to a new College quad, city centre postgraduate accommodation, retail units, a Digital Hub and inspiring, accessible multi-purpose teaching and learning spaces. It will also allow the College to be more outward-looking, enabling the public to access events, exhibitions and public-engagement talks more easily.

We’re installing ground source heat pumps to provide a sustainable energy source for the new building. This means drilling boreholes down through the Oxford mud and stone to a depth of 58 metres and this work has now commenced.

Digging of a different kind has been taking place in the Fellows’ Garden, where archaeologists have been exploring what, if anything, lies beneath the soil and turf. So far, they’ve found evidence of an old courtyard and well (filled in with rubbish and rubble) and the possible remains of grain-drying ovens dating back to the mid-sixteenth century. The remains have been identified and preserved.

Old well and remains of courtyard on Northgate site
Remains of an old well, courtyard and ovens were discovered recently by archaeologists  Photo: BAM

Our yellow tower crane will remain a feature of the Oxford landscape for some time to come but if you ever wondered what the view is like from so high-up, the crane operator took this picture.


 Arriving after Easter on Market Street will be new hoardings that celebrate our Women in Science. The hoardings will feature just some of Jesus College’s amazing women scientists, from experimental psychology student Lucy Zhang to leading structural biologist and Jesus Fellow Professor Yvonne Jones. Follow us on Twitter @JesusOxford for more on this and all Northgate news.