Development plans for Wadham College

28th September 2016

News, Student news, Alumni news

Following the promise of significant funding from generous benefactors, Wadham has asked internationally acclaimed architect Amanda Levete to develop designs for the replacement of the JCR and Goddard Building (staircases 16 and 17).

  • The Goddard building today

    The Goddard building today

  • The Goddard building today

This decision was made after a meeting of the College Governing Body which for more than ten years has been looking to improve existing buildings and facilities which are no longer fit for purpose. An independent feasibility study has been carried out to ensure that the new buildings will be as cost effective as possible, and that elements of the existing buildings can be retained.  

Subject to the necessary consents, the College proposes that the new buildings will create a state of the art Undergraduate Centre on the Wadham site, including a new Junior Common Room and bedrooms, as well as an Aspiration Centre to accommodate the increasing number of visiting school students attending access and outreach events such as summer schools and aspiration days.

The development is part of Wadham’s Access to Excellence programme where students are supported throughout every step of the academic journey, from the moment they consider applying to University, through their time at Oxford and on into their careers.

Warden Ken Macdonald QC commented: “As we welcome the brightest students from a wide range of backgrounds we want them to feel that they are benefitting from the very best facilities that an Oxford education can offer them. We want Wadham to inspire potential applicants in every way, providing our students with the means to achieve the most benefit from their time here.”

Lord Macdonald added: As you will appreciate, there is much work to be done before plans can be confirmed and I shall share more information with you as this project progresses. In the meantime, we are continuing a process of consultation and review to ensure that we secure wonderful buildings which properly meet the needs of the College and enhance the beauty of the Back Quad. It is too early to say at what point this work might take place in College, but we shall keep you informed.”

Director of Development, Julie Hage added: “The new buildings are lead-funded by William Doo (Law, 1993) and his family and Honorary Fellow of Wadham, Dr Lee Shau Kee. The new William Doo Undergraduate Centre will transform undergraduate life in College and the Dr Lee Shau Kee Building will serve as a nexus for Wadham’s access programme, welcoming all our prospective applicants when they visit for inspiration days and summer schools. Wadham alumni and friends are also generously committing to help close the funding gap for the project by naming student rooms and floors in the new buildings. We hope that many of our alumni will want to be involved in the building appeal and we will shortly be sharing news about the development.”

The Goddard building was constructed in minimalist, modernist style in 1953 to designs by the architect H G Goddard, an old member of the College.

The College would like to express its sincere gratitude to Dr Lee Shau Kee and to William Doo and their families for enabling these proposals to move ahead.

These plans are in addition to the development of student accommodation on the Iffley Road at what will provisionally be named the new Dorothy Wadham Building, being undertaken by leading architects Allies and Morrison.