I went on a tour of the development site on the Gipsy Lane campus last week. To be allowed on site we had to dress appropriately: builders boots, hard hat, high-vis jacket, safety glasses and gloves. Was this a scam to get some extra workers? No, they take health and safety very seriously.
Once we were togged up we set off up the four flights of stairs to the top of the Abercrombie Extension. From the top floor which is going to be additional studio space for Architecture, we looked over the edge. Wow! The scale of the development really started to hit home. The space between the extension and the existing building uses lots of glass to create a feeling of space and light - this space which will house a cafe and different meeting places, extends all the way up the four floors and is topped off with an opening glass roof which acts as a ventilation system. And the old building is joined to the new with a series of glass bridges in different colours.
Then it was back down the stairs and up through the scaffolding to the Library and Teaching Building. Vast. And a huge courtyard space in the middle. We went right up to the top and looked out across Headington and saw the space where one of the lecture theatres will go. The Project Leader who was showing us round explained that the construction of this was going to be one of the biggest challenges yet, but they had worked out a way of installing the steel supports - in three sections using a mobile crane. After that we climbed back down admiring the spaces as we went. An amazing tour of a live construction site.
There is lots more information on the Space to Think website, including a live site webcam and virtual tour.
I did take a few fairly obscure photos - these are just memories of my visit, for some larger scale images take a look at the links above.
|Scaffolding and steps going up the Library/Teaching Building|
|Coloured glass in the Abercrombie Extension|
|The glass roof|
|Reflections and boots|
|Looking through to the Library and Teaching Buildings and the Lime Green Wall|
|On the top of the Teaching/Library Building|