Practice pips Allies & Morrison and Berman Guedes Stretton to St Peter’s College project

Oxford University’s St Peter’s College has chosen Design Engine to deliver a new student accommodation block on the site of the city’s former Conservative Club.

The practice beat proposals from Allies & Morrison, Berman Guedes Stretton and Gray Baynes & Shew in an invited competition for the scheme, which specifically targets second-year students.

The accommodation, to be built on the site of Castle Hill House, is the latest in a line of projects for St Peter’s that Design Engine has been appointed to.

In 2014 the practice was hired to deliver a range of work at the college – the centrepiece of which was the new £2.3m Hubert Perrodo Building. Now complete, the project won a RIBA Award last month for the south region.

Hubert Perrodo Building

Source: Jim Stephenson

Design Engine’s Hubert Perrodo Building at Oxford University’s St Peter’s College

Design Engine founding director Richard Rose-Casemore said that the practice had found it hugely rewarding to see staff at St Peter’s using the new building and its remodelled quads imaginatively, and was “delighted” to be continuing the working relationship built up over the past four years.

“Castle Hill House represents a distinctly different challenge, being part of the historic city fabric and set apart from the main campus by a narrow public lane,” he said.

“Our scheme is designed carefully around listed neighbours and across the numerous level changes, and will provide a rich mix of communal areas, social spaces and study bedrooms.”

Sketch for new student housing for St Peter's College, Oxford, by Design Engine

Design Engine’s sketch for new student housing for St Peter’s College, Oxford