Balliol College – Master’s Field Project

Ten new buildings providing undergraduate student accommodation, fellows’ rooms and a sports pavilion (Niall McLaughlin Architects, 2017-21)

Balliol College – Master’s Fields (Niall McLoughlin, 2021)

Newly completed, this group of new buildings provides Balliol with more than 200 study bedrooms, enabling the college to offer all undergraduates college accommodation for the duration of their degree with an additional 60 rooms for graduate students. All rooms have ensuite facilities, now the norm for new student accommodation. The sports pavilion incorporates a squash court and changing rooms, and two further buildings replace the Dellal and Martin Buildings on St Cross Road, to add sets of rooms for fellows. Phase 1 includes the student blocks and pavilion, while Phase 2 will add the two buildings at the north end of the site.

At first glance the architecture shares some characteristics with the college’s earlier blocks on Jowett Walk (MJP, 1996/2004), namely the use of low rise, linked pavilion forms in a buff-coloured brick. However, McLoughlin here develops the neo-modernist approach already seen in his student accommodation for Somerville (2011 and 2020) and St Cross (2017), with clear demarcation of living units and deep window reveals. As expected, formal details are both elegant and well made.

Jowett Walk / St Cross Road, Oxford OX1 (map out of date at 16.11.21)

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