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Stamping its mark on city for past 50 years
LOOK up at some of the striking buildings you can see as you walk through Oxford and there’s a good chance one of them has been designed by Oxford Architects.
From the dark-glass fronted Blackwell’s building in Hythe Bridge Street, to the eye-catching Hertford College halls of residence on Folly Bridge, the Hinksey Hill firm has been at the heart of key changes across the city over the past 50 years.
On Thursdaystaff at the firm’s offices at Bagley Croft, off Hinksey Hill, celebrated five decades of architectural design.
There are 35 staff based in Oxford, eight staff in Bristol, and the firm has strong links with an associate practice in London.
The company is currently working on a £200m redevelopment of the high security Broadmoor Hospital in Crowthorne, Berkshire.
Nick Caldwell, 58, a partner at the firm, says Oxford Architects is still flourishing.
Mr Caldwell, who lives in North Oxford with his wife Pru, said: “Back in 1960, four practices in Abingdon joined together and shortly afterwards the firm started in Queen Street before moving to George Street.
“Then in September, 1983, we moved to our current offices at Bagley Croft.
“I studied architecture at Oxford Polytechnic from 1973 to 1979 and joined the firm in 1982.
“People always ask me to tell them my favourite building that I have worked on and the honest answer is ‘the last one’.
“Wheatley Park School was one of our designs and you get great satisfaction when you see people using the buildings and enjoying them. Once people start looking after these new buildings they become treasured.”
Oxford Architects staff are also responsible for Abingdon’s Guildhall in 1963, student accommodation at Balliol College off Broad Street, and the Oxford Mail’s press hall.
Oxford Civic Society vice-president Tony Joyce said: “You can’t miss some of their buildings and the firm has made an important contribution to the city as it has developed over the past five decades.
“Staff at Oxford Architects have brought in some very modern-style buildings.”