University of Oxford – Radcliffe Observatory Quarter

Turnberry has provided planning and development strategy advice to the University of Oxford on projects ranging from academic development to student accommodation. The most significant of these projects has been the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, which is amongst the largest University developments in the UK and has been described by the Oxford Thinking capital campaign as Oxford’s ‘most ambitious project since the early twentieth century.’ Turnberry has advised on the project since its conception, providing strategic guidance on identifying and purchasing the site, selecting architects and ultimately completing the planning applications after an extensive public and university-wide consultation process.

The Radcliffe Infirmary site is an extensive former hospital site with considerable heritage constraints in the heart of the Oxford city centre. Turnberry began involvement in the project by authoring a report which illustrated the need to redevelop the site for academic uses, with this material ultimately becoming instrumental in negotiations with the Oxford City Council regarding the necessary modifications to the Oxford Local Plan, and the subsequent purchase of the site.

Turnberry has subsequently worked alongside master planner Rafael Vinoly to determine the approach to building location, and prepared development parameters for the site. This process involved much debate across the University as well as a number of stakeholder consultation events, negotiations with the City Council and other key organisations such as English Heritage.

The firm has worked closely over several years with various design teams appointed on individual buildings, and coordinated the preparation and negotiations of a number of planning applications for various aspects of the site. The development will include major new facilities for Mathematics and Humanities, administrative facilities for the University, alongside student accommodation for Somerville College, facilities for the Ruskin School of Art and a new Health Centre for the local residential area of Jericho.