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Oxford University receives planning permission.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre.

Oxford University’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities received unanimous approval earlier this week.

The building has been designed by Hopkins Architects for the University of Oxford and forms part of the city’s historic Radcliffe Observatory quarter. The four-storey scheme provides a 500-seat concert hall, a 250-seat theatre and a 100-seat experimental ‘black-box performance laboratory’, together with lecture spaces, exhibition areas, film-screening rooms, classrooms, offices and vast green spaces that will surround the development.

Our structural solution resolves this diverse program into a rationalized frame and grid, with several larger entrance spaces integrated. The centre also has ambitious sustainability objectives for its design, construction and operation, including more biodiversity on the site, solar power generation on the roof, and ensuring that the building is all-electric.


“The Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities will transform the work of our scholars and offer untold opportunities for the city as a whole. An inspirational piece of design by a world-leading architectural practice, it will also be a pioneering example of sustainability in architecture”. Professor William Whyte, Professor of Architectural History at the University of Oxford.

Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, “I am absolutely delighted that Oxford City Council has approved our application to build the Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities. This building will be a fabulous addition both to the cultural life of the city and to the intellectual and social life of the University, now and for generations to come.”

The University aims to complete construction in 2025.