This website is an attempt to update the coverage of Oxford architecture since the most recent printed guides came out at the end of the last century. There are several excellent publications on the city’s important postwar architecture, from David Reed and Philip Opher’s New Architecture in Oxford (1977) to Peter Howard and Helena Webster’s Oxford: an architectural guide (1999), but there is very little on the years since 2000. Geoffrey Tyack’s comprehensive historical survey, also titled Oxford: an architectural guide (1998), ends with a somewhat pessimistic review of architecture in the 1990s, but hints at interesting things to come. Here the story is continued into the new millennium: you can judge for yourself whether more ‘interesting things’ have indeed come to Oxford.
Some further reading on modern Oxford architecture
Harwood, Elain, Powers, Alan, & Saumarez-Smith, Charles (eds), Twentieth Century Architecture 11: Oxford and Cambridge Architecture, Twentieth Century Society, 2013.
Howard, Peter and Helena Webster, Oxford: an architectural guide, Ellipsis, 1999.
Lomholt, Isabelle, Oxford Buildings : Architecture, e-architect.co.uk,
Oxford Preservation Trust, Discover Oxford’s Architecture, www.visitoxfordshire.com, 2013.
Opher, Philip, Oxford Town Trail: Modern Infill Architecture, Heritage Tours Publications/Oxford School of Architecture, 1992.
Opher, Philip, Pocket Guide to Twentieth Century Oxford Architecture, Heritage Tours Publications/Oxford School of Architecture, 1995.
Opher, Philip, Oxford Modern: a guide to the new architecture of the city and university, Heritage Tours Publications/Oxford School of Architecture, 2001.
Radcliffe Observatory Quarter: Phase 2: Mathematical Institute, Humanities Building and Library, Maths & Humanities Boards, University of Oxford, 2012.
Reed, David & Philip Opher, New Architecture in Oxford, Oxford Polytechnic, 1977.
Sherwood, Jennifer & Nikolaus Pevsner, Oxfordshire, Yale University Press, rev. edn. 1974.
Stewart, John G, “Modern architecture in Oxford”, Oxford Art Journal, 53-6, 1978.
Tyack, Geoffrey, Oxford: an architectural guide, OUP, 1998.
Tyack, Geoffrey, Modern architecture in an Oxford college: St John’s College 1945-2005, OUP, 2005.
Samuels, Olga, The Recent Architecture of Oxford University, 2018, revised and enlarged from P. Opher, Oxford Modern, 2001.
In compiling this guide I am indebted to many people who have provided information and tours of buildings, and shared their knowledge of the architectural scene in Oxford. Particular thanks to: Alan Berman, architect, Berman Guedes Stretton; Philip Opher, prolific author of informative guides to Oxford architecture; John Stevenson, architect and former head of Oxford Brookes School of Architecture; Debbie Dance, Director of the Oxford Preservation Trust, for access to OPT records; James Robinson, Regional Director, for access to RIBA South Region records; and Helen Moss, for invaluable advice on contemporary web design and authoring. All errors and omissions are the author’s own responsibility, and he would appreciate constructive comments and corrections.
All text © Tim Brindley; photographs © Tim Brindley, except where indicated.