Softbridge Building, University of Oxford

United Kingdom

An iconic extension to the Middle East Centre at St Antony’s College, built thanks to an £11 million donation from investment firm Investcorp. The three-storey, 1,200m2 building houses a library, archive and lecture theatre. Beyond its practical function, it has created a distinctive landmark on Oxford’s architectural landscape. A sinuous, softly reflective steel-clad form, seemingly floating, suspended between its Victorian and Edwardian neighbours. BAM had to trim some £4.5 million from the budget without compromising the complex, visually seamless curves and high specification finishes.