Architecture People & Places


Zaha Hadid Architects at Oxford

Zaha Hadid Architects designed the so-called Investcorp Building, aka Softbridge, at Oxford University, in Oxford, England. Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

Ground has broken on a new building to house the Middle East Center of St. Anthony's College at the University of Oxford. Dubbed "Softbridge," the Investcorp Building will be located between 66 and 68 Woodstock Road in Oxford, England, two existing buildings which currently house the center's library and archives.

Zaha Hadid designed the 1,200-square-meter (13,000-square-foot) building, for which the dominant cladding material will be stainless steel panels. The new two-story structure will serve as a bridge bewtween its two neighbors, with its lower floor set partially below ground and serving as a platform for the steel-clad level above.

The rear of the Softbridge building. Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

With Hadid's signature design sensibility, the upper level fluidly transitions from a bullnose form on one side, a bit like the leading edge of an airplane's wing, to a large cantilevered rectangular opening on the other.

The 125-seat lecture hall of the Softbridge building. Image: Zaha Hadid Architects

The building will include a new 125-seat lecture hall, replacing cramped rooms where the center currently holds seminars. The center's library and archives will move into the new structure upon its completion, scheduled for 2014.

Project Credits
  • Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Design: Zaha Hadid Architects
    • Associate Director: Jim Heverin
    • Project Architect: Johannes Hoffmann Ken Bostock
    • Project Team: Goswin Rothenthal Theodora Ntatsopoulou Saleem A. Jalil Mireia Sala Font Amita Kulkarni Goswin Rothenthal Sara Klomps Alex Bilton Yeena Yoon Barbara Bochnak
  • Consultants Structural Engineers: Adams Kara Taylor
  • Mechanical/ Electrical/Accoustics: Max Fordham
  • Lighting Design: Arup Lighting
  • Facade Consultants: Arup Facade Engineering
  • Cost Consultants: Sense Cost Ltd
  • Fire Engineers: Arup Fire
  • Planning Supervision: Jppc Oxford
  • Forestry And Arboriculture Consultant : Sarah Venner
  • Access: David Bonnet
  • Landscape: Gross Max
  • CDM: Andrew Goddard Associates
  • Visualisation: Cityscape

Inside the Softbridge, which connects two adjacent Oxford buildings. Image: Zaha Hadid Architects
Project Details
  • Program: New Academic Building
  • Area: 1,200 square meters (13,000 square feet) 
  • Site Area: 900 square meters (10,000 square feet)
  • Footprint Area: 900 square meters (10,000 square feet)
  • EUI: (not available)

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