Radcliffe Observatory Quarter - Humanities

In its most ambitious project since the creation of the University Science Area in the early twentieth century, the University of Oxford seeks to establish a new Humanities Centre that will complement – both academically and architecturally – facilities offered in colleges. New challenges and opportunities are opening up in the humanities, changing patterns of research and offering new possibilities for interdisciplinary and collaborative work. The current architectural landscape of Oxford is ill-fitted to support such developments.

Historic buildings possess great charm, but impose constraints. Not only are the majority of humanities faculties housed in buildings that offer little space for graduate students, visiting scholars, or research groups, but they are spread out in a variety of small buildings across the city. By building a new Humanities Centre, the University aims to provide better teaching and study space for staff and students in the humanities, from small seminar rooms to large lecture halls equipped with the latest technology.

The new centre, designed by Bennetts Associates, will encompass a state-of-the-art interdisciplinary humanities library in the two lower floors, with academic faculties and research centres located above. The design offers extensive and flexible teaching, research, and study space, and provides the very latest developments in information technology. The space will be designed to facilitate creative exchange between the different disciplines, and offer a myriad of venues for interdisciplinary and collaborative work, both formal and informal. It will facilitate permeability between teaching and research, whilst at the same time maintaining faculty identities, with accommodation designed in discrete blocks of space that will each operate as a recognisable Faculty.

An Institute for Advanced Research at the heart of the development will open up the potential for major collaborations, not only within the University and the UK but also with institutions across the world. Phase one of the development will house English, History, Philosophy and Theology. It will also provide space for the Humanities Division office and shared divisional research space.

The new campus will ensure that the Humanities faculties are able to develop an agenda for research in keeping with the demands of the new millennium. The development will benefit not only current members of the University, but future generations of students and scholars from across the globe.

You can find out more about this exciting development at the University's official Radcliffe Observatory Quarter website.

If you are interested in making a contribution towards the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, you can do so by making a gift to the ROQ online or contacting the Development Office.