Our Project Story

Blavatnik School of Government.

University of Oxford | Herzog and De Meuron

Higher Education
Matthew Jones, Partner at Hoare Lea

Lead Partner:
Matthew Jones

A Stirling effort.

The Blavatnik School of Government is one of the youngest departments at the University of Oxford. Its Stirling Prize nominated building reflects its reputation for excellence, by providing an exceptional environment for study, research, and collaboration.

The Blavatnik Building

A working metaphor.

World-renowned architect Herzog and de Meuron’s architectural concept for the building employed a full-height glazed façade, as a metaphor for transparency in public life. Alongside this, the client’s design brief required natural ventilation to offices and a high quality environment. Our mixed-mode ventilation strategy provided the solution to this challenge. This, alongside night cooling, works in concert with the thermal mass of the fair-faced concrete structure to deliver a stable and energy-efficient thermal environment.

Concealed solutions.

Our MEP solution needed to integrate with the high-quality finish demanded by the architect, and the absence of ceiling voids resulted in very limited routes for high-level extract ductwork and other services. Our designers and acousticians developed a solution that allowed air flow from individual rooms into circulation spaces while maintaining acoustic privacy. The ventilation to the central atrium is elegantly concealed within timber battened walls that double as a low velocity displacement diffuser. The overall effect is a truly efficient space that ‘works’ without occupants noticing.

From acoustic innovation and sustainable solutions to striking lighting design and in-use performance strategies, we brought our vast-range of specialist expertise to the project to achieve the ambitious aspirations and requirements.

Click here to view our 360VR CGI visualisation.

Key Figures
51% Operational energy consumption reduction upon benchmark figure
£19K Anticipated yearly savings from Ground Source Energy System
38% Carbon emissions reduction against benchmark figure