AL_A buildings win international design award

27th November 2021

News, Alumni news

Wadham’s new AL_A designed Back Quad buildings have won an FX International Design Award.

  • Wadham's new buildings
  • Wadham's undergraduate and access centres
  • Wadham's Access Centre atrium

Winning the Public Sector award at a ceremony in London this week, architect Ho-Yin Ng accepted the award on behalf of Wadham and AL_A.

Commenting on the Dr Lee Shau Kee Building and William Doo Undergraduate Centre the international panel of some 24 judges commented: “Exquisite attention to detail, which not only harmonises with the existing college buildings but sets a precedent for future standards on energy and performance in the higher education sector.”

Describing the project, funded thanks to the generosity and support of Wadham alumni, FX write: “Architecture practice AL_A has created two new buildings for Wadham College to provide a state-of-the-art Undergraduate Centre and Access Centre, which has re-established the original master plan for the college and the relationship between the quads: the social centres of the college. A feature stone stairway creates a new gathering space at the centre of the college with its curved form and gently rising steps creating a place to stop, meet and connect.

“The two buildings are designed to enhance and complement this new focus. Each building has its own aesthetic character, but they are linked both physically and visually. Both buildings feature unique etched facades, inspired by the weathered York stone of the surrounding buildings. On the glass facade of the Access Centre, vertical etching creates depth and texture, giving a sense of lightness that speaks of modernity. Layers of subtle colour add warmth and ground the building in its context, referencing the colours of the stained-glass windows in the college chapel. The Undergraduate Centre is more transparent, the colour and animation coming from the student activity inside. Here, etching creates a contrasting horizontal rhythm to the facade, and from the terrace you see the Old Library reflected in the glass.”

The FX International Interior Design Awards is open to architects, designers, clients and suppliers for interior design projects or products.