Design inspires students at Oxford academy
Wednesday, November 27, 2013
OXFORD – The Reuben Business Centre at Oxford Spires Academy, designed by IBI Nightingale, has officially been opened by Lord Krebs and British businessman and philanthropist David Reuben.
The £8.2-million centre is a beacon for excellence, providing a range of first-class facilities including IT, business enterprise, science laboratories, research hub, sixth form centre, Physical Education classrooms, and a 330-seat lecture theatre.
A three-storey renovation and extension, the design transforms an existing 1960s teaching block into an unique building, wrapping itself around the existing structure to draw visitors into its impressive atrium.
“The Academy’s philosophy is to treat its students as young adults, preparing them for the world of work,” said Stuart Ward, Project Architect at IBI Nightingale. “As designers we have supported these educational aspirations throughout the design. Exterior and interior materials, branding, and colour palettes have been chosen to create a professional and mature appearance, emulating a high-quality workplace environment that achieves respect from its users.”
Resonating around the research hub are inspirational interpretations on the Academy’s strap-line – “be the best you can be”. The design uses super-graphics and lingual manifestations to promote a sense of belonging and make students feel inspired by their surroundings.
“The Ruben Business Centre is absolutely stunning,” said Sue Croft, Principal of Oxford Spires Academy. “The impressive combination of the old and the new creates a light, airy, and fluid space that delivers professional and productive learning spaces for our students and local community. Inspiring inside and out, it encourages good behaviour, pride, and ownership; we are overwhelmed by the quality of design.”
The vision for the Reuben Business Centre is to support skills for life and future success, especially in business. The centre was partly funded by a donation from the Reuben Foundation; IBI Nightingale, working with the contractor Kier, completed design and construction in 18 months.