THE UK’s leading heritag architecture practice, Purcell, has won a place on Oxford University’s £1.5bn technical designer framework to deliver capital projects under £20m.

The Estates Strategy mission is to develop, maintain and manage the university estate to ensure the continued enhancement of its unique heritage, buildings and environment, and the provision of world-leading teaching and research.

The Capital Projects Partner Framework sits within this, aiming to serve the wider community.

The university expects to invest around £120-£150 million per year on both new and refurbished facilities, guaranteeing the future suitability of its spaces.

READ AGAIN: New visitor centre in Christ Church Meadow is ready to open

These priority projects support the changing patterns of research and learning by providing innovative space solutions.

Improved use of space through new buildings designed for adaptability and shared use is a key consideration for future architectural designs, as well as improved condition and function of the estate by re-purposing vacated buildings when new ones are built.


Another key aim is to reduce running costs and carbon emissions to drive lower energy use and increased environmental comfort.

Commenting on Purcell’s place on the framework, Nicola Hewes, Partner of Purcell’s Oxford studio, said: “We are delighted to win a place on the framework and we are looking forward to collaborating with the University in delivering exceptional projects and realising their exciting vision for the University’s development.

“Our central Oxford Studio was set up over ten years ago when we won our first project with the University on the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter site so this opportunity will enable us to grow and develop our team in Oxford.”


There is an opportunity for the framework to be extended for another five years following the initial five-year appointment. Purcell leads the framework team with Wilkinson Eyre, Abell Nepp, Price & Myers, Qoda Consulting, AKS Ward and CBG.

This autumn, two significant projects designed by Purcell will complete in the local area including the new visitor centre at Christ Church Meadow, as well as a new graduate centre and additional student accommodation at St Catherine’s College.

The new visitor centre at Christ Church, which will feature a ticket office and shop, could attract one million people a year has been built in Christ Church Meadow.

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Christ Church college received planning permission for the scheme in 2015 and the building, which has a thatched roof, is expected to open later this year.

Mr Lawrie added that the visitor centre could open in September or October and the building is now being fitted out.


In 2018, Purcell was appointed to the Over £20m Capital Projects Framework with architecture practice NBBJ; this framework team is currently working on the new Centre for Life and Mind Sciences for Oxford University.

Purcell is one of the world’s leading design practices with more than 70 years’ experience as architects, master planners and heritage consultants operating across regions of the UK and Asia Pacific.

The architectural practice has provided expert consultancy and design services as architects, designers, heritage and specialist consultants on many of the UK’s best-known buildings.

In London Purcell has worked on a number of projects, including the restoration of Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge and the National Maritime Museum.