On-site at Rhodes House, Oxford University

See the site progress for the bespoke glazing package for the new development of Rhodes House.

2 2In Autumn 2022, the Rhodes Trust received planning permission for an elegant new development to redesign the 1929 Grade II listed building, Rhodes House by updating its infrastructure and opening a state-of-the-art conceiving centre. The two year long development will be carried out by Beard Construction in various phases allowing the historical building to remain open. 

 The Rhodes Trust is an educational charity that administers scholarships to support students (mainly postgraduates) study at the University of Oxford through academic support, interaction with their peers and convenings at Rhodes House. 

The new development, designed by Stanton Williams will consist of a brand-new convening centre for the Rhodes Trust located at the University of Oxford, the existing Grade II listed building will be transformed and restored with the original heritage of the building. The new development will comprise of convening facilities, new office space and residential accommodation.  

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Rhodes house was originally designed by Sir Herbert Barker in 1929, creating a spectacular H-shaped building which is located within the centre of the surrounding extensive gardens. The new design by Stanton Williams will connect the surrounding landscapes with the building via interior spaces which will be embedded in lower ground levels, creating new lower floors with architectural glazing to create natural light to flood these lower floor spaces.

The new brief for the redesign was to create a community-driven space which will bring together world leaders and scholars where common decisions can be made in a neutral environment. The redesign has been used to devise zones where these debates can occur, with surrounding areas for the staff and scholars working. Not only will Rhodes House will hold important events but will also provide 37 Guest bedrooms and office space for over 70 staff, allowing the location to become mixed-use.  

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“As an organization [Rhodes Trust] it engages in programming for Rhodes Scholars and alumni, Atlantic Fellows and Schmidt Science Fellows, as well as engaging with the local community and the University.” – Stanton Williams Architects  

The newly designed conference hall has a brand-new entranceway which will be found through the new elegant stone spiral staircase positioned in the centre of the entrance rotunda. The conference hall will be naturally lit through the west and east lightwell located parallel to each other. The high specification building is solely comprised of wooden and glazed elements, creating tree-like curvatures in the centre of the wooden pavilion, with IQ’s specified extra clear structural glazing elements to line the exterior. The single-storey installation has a green roof and solid stone wall on the northern elevation which creates oratory and meeting spaces for the Rhodes Trust.  

Find out more about specifying structural glass applications for commercial spaces here…

The glass pavilion has been designed to sit on the lawns that sit west of the house. The sculpture-like pavilion creates additional covering space for scholar events, meetings and outdoor events held by the Rhodes Trust. 

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The wooden elements are composed of curved structural plywood with acoustic ceiling panels which range between Class B and D acoustic absorption levels, a metal trim was specified by Stanton Williams architects to form a high-level datum between timber panelling and roof.  

IQ Projects are in the process of installing bespoke automatic entrance sliding doors to this spectacular glass and wooden pavilion, to create a seamless entranceway which connects the internal and external. Two internal fully glazed casement doors were specified to create zones for the lobby and pavilion areas, in keeping with the fully glazed appearance of the new structure. 

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All external glazing provided by IQ Projects was specified to include solar control to ensure highly glazed spaces are functional as well as contemporary, IQ recommends solar control coatings for any fully glazed elements to prevent the internal space from overheating. 

As the bespoke glazing package would be difficult to replace if broken, both in terms of cost for ordering and transporting the glass as well as replacing the glass, they were all heat soak tested. This extra step in the glass manufacturing process reduces the risk of nickel sulphide inclusion breakages significantly from 1m2 in every 10,000m2 to just 1m2 in every 1 million m2, and would always be recommended for glazing solutions like this. 

IQ Glass also designed and installed bespoke glazing at Oriel College, Oxford University, comprising of bespoke-shaped rooflights for the Rhodes building, Oriel college. Our extensive work on private schools, universities and colleges makes IQ the go-to for any glazing needs for educational building projects. 6 1

Read the blog here… 

The team at IQ can assist in the specification of the glazing solutions for educational buildings. Using our years of knowledge, we can provide effective solutions for each project’s specific needs and challenges.   

Speak to the team at IQ for further advice or guidance. 

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Chloe Thompson

After completing her undergrad degree in Interior design, Chloe decided to join the architectural glazing industry and now works on social media strategies, writes content and manages the day to day marketing for IQ's commercial division.

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