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Maths building will add to uni’s new Radcliffe quarter
ONE of the key new buildings in the £220m restoration of the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter in Oxford is about to open.
Oxford University’s Mathematical Institute is moving from three separate locations into a single facility, which will open next month on the site between Woodstock Road and Walton Street.
The new maths building has been built on Woodstock Road between Green Templeton College and the former Radcliffe Infimary.
It will be called the Andrew Wiles Building, in celebration of one of Oxford’s most distinguished mathematicians.
Prof Sir Andrew Wiles read mathematics at Merton College, starting in 1971.
After working at Cambridge University and at Princeton University in the United States, he returned to Oxford.
In 2011 he joined the Mathematical Institute as a Royal Society Anniversary Research Professor.
The professor, based at Merton College, specialises in number theory and became famous for proving Fermat’s Last Theorem.
The mathematical theorem was first mooted in 1637, but all attempts to solve it failed until Sir Andrew published his general proof in 1995 to international acclaim.
Oxford University spokesman Matt Pickles said: “The new facility will accommodate more than 500 mathematical researchers and support staff, including faculty, research fellows and postgraduate students.
“It will also be a centre for approximately 900 undergraduates and the building will provide more than 300 offices in a range of sizes.
“There will be space for fourth-year undergraduate students working on projects, an extensive suite of teaching and seminar spaces, as well as a range of meeting rooms and a large departmental common room.”
Executive member for city development Colin Cook said: “This will be a significant asset to the university and I think the frontage is sympathetic to its surroundings.”
The Institute building was designed by Rafael Vinoly Architects and is being built by Laing O’Rourke.
It opens on Thursday, October 3.
Last year Oxford University promised there would be two routes through its Radcliffe Observatory Quarter after Jericho and Osney city councillor Susanna Pressel spoke of the importance of the site being open to the public.
The former Radcliffe Infirmary has been refurbished as part of the university’s renovation of the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter and is now home to the Humanities Divisional Office, the Faculty of Philosophy and the Philosophy and Theology libraries.