The Northgate site is starting to disappear behind a complex exoskeleton of scaffolding and protective wrapping that marks an important new phase of the development. In early November we commence work to clad parts of the building, and later in the month the stone façade work begins.
The stone to be used for the project is a limestone called Clipsham, which comes from a quarry near Stamford in Lincolnshire. The stone is precision-cut into blocks at the quarry, ready for delivery to the site. Stone work will begin in the north-west corner of Northgate, in the section of the building adjacent to WH Smiths.
Behind the scaffolding, the new building is transforming rapidly. Gone are the majority of BAM’s temporary office cabins that surrounded the perimeter for the first year of construction. BAM have built a bespoke office area on the ground floor, which will remain in place until the project’s completion later next year. The offices have kitchen facilities and a rest area, as well as socially-distanced work stations for staff and contractors to use (see image below).
Across the basement, ground, first and second floors, more concrete flooring slabs have been poured, and internal walls and columns are now being installed. The Digital Hub is also taking shape. Much care has been given to prepare the basement section of the Hub, with original archaeological features protected and the area tanked and lined against the elements (see image below). Eventually the Hub will extend across three floors, connected by a stunning curved staircase, and feature communal networking/relaxation areas, light and airy teaching spaces, and study and breakout rooms. Sliding walls have been designed to maximise capacity for large Hub events.
The most dramatic changes can be seen on the second floor of Northgate, where the new quadrangle is taking shape and work is well underway on the postgraduate accommodation block (see below). Constructed using cross-laminated timbers from sustainable sources, some lucky postgraduates will enjoy a 180 degree view of either the new quad or Cornmarket Street, where the vista stretches all the way to Christ Church College and out across the roof tops to Boars Hill.
Public engagement is a key part of the Northgate project and we have been working closely with the local media to keep the Oxford community up to date with progress. We’ve also been organising tours of the site for College members and alumni, and invitations will soon be extended out to colleagues in the wider University and local community. Our construction partner BAM is also keen to engage a wide range of stakeholders in the project and promote careers in the construction industry, and has already run educational visits for engineering and architecture students from Oxford Brookes University and the University of Oxford. Reading University is next on their list.
NEW FILM CAMPAIGN
In November we are launching a series of films about Northgate. The films will explain more about how the new building aims to transform the College’s teaching, learning and research in the 21st Century, expand our access work with schools in hard-to-reach areas and provide an exciting new exhibition and events space for the city. You will be able to view the new films via our social media platforms @JesusOxford, LinkedIn and here on the website. In the meantime, if you have any queries about the project, please do contact the College Communications Manager, Jude Eades at firstname.lastname@example.org