Worcester College’s new Nazrin Shah Building reached a major milestone this week when regional construction company Beard completed the main body of the steel frame structure of the £7.2 million auditorium and conferencing centre at the University of Oxford.
The new 160-seat, single-storey theatre will also accommodate an e-hub social learning space, two seminar rooms, a studio for teaching and for performance and a large foyer and bar area. The facilities will be used for a wide range of activities including drama and music sessions as well as conferences, lectures and as a gathering place for other community-based groups in Oxford.
“We’re really enjoying working with Worcester College again and their project delivery team. It’s great to see this superb new facility with its intricate design and complex construction starting to rise out of the ground and take shape,” says Trevor Pounds, Beard project manager. “We’re making good progress on the project which is being sensitively constructed within the grounds of the College’s listed gardens. Our next project milestone will be the completion of the building’s superstructure blockwork and the main structural roof deck.”
The new performing arts centre and lecture hall will include sustainable features such as a geothermal borehole heating system which takes heat from the ground to keep the building warm. The building is also constructed on concealed plinths so it is raised above potential flood levels and will allow floodwater to flow safely beneath.
Jonathan Forrest, Estates Bursar at Worcester College, says: “This building sits close to our student accommodation blocks so over an 18 month build it has been essential to minimise the inevitable disturbance caused by having such a major construction project underway. I have been delighted at the way Beard has helped us manage and respond to our students’ concerns. They have been flexible about the programme so that students could work undisturbed at exam times and they have scheduled other work, including the re-build of a major sewer, to fall in vacation periods so our students did not suffer odour and generator noise.”
The Nazrin Shah Building is named after HRH Sultan Nazrin Shah of Perak, Malaysia BA, MPA, PhD who is an alumnus of the college. It is due to be completed in September 2016.