Watkin Jones Group/iQ Student Accommodation
Private luxury studio accommodation with social spaces, onsite facilities and car parking (Hodder + Partners, 2014)
Occupying a site between St Clements Street and the Cherwell river, long designated for student housing, this privately owned double block development of 140 ‘studio’ rooms and supporting facilities sits between James Stirling’s radical student residence of 1971, the Florey Building, and Alan Bullock Close, by Oxford Architects Partnership (1976). This trio of buildings bear some comparison as contrasting expositions of a type, including their common use of brick. Stirling’s notorious scheme is one of his three great essays in red-brick and glass, while the OAP scheme, with its low-pitched roofs and expanses of plain brick façade, is more reminiscent of GLC low-rise housing of the same period. In contrast, Stephen Hodder has developed a grid of square-section rooms in a hotel-like form, using a light buff-coloured brick and warm-toned hardwood as quality show materials, broadly similar in form to his residential extensions at St Catherine’s College (2000, 2006).