Radley College

Location
South West
Client
Radley College
Awards
  • Current Finalist for AJ Architecture Awards 2022
Shortlist
  • Construction Excellence Awards 2022
  • Oxford Preservation Trust Awards 2022
  • The Brick Awards 2022

Purcell’s extension of the Radley College’s Grade II* listed Chapel embraces both 21st century technology, such as BIM, and traditional craftsmanship. The refurbishment and extension provides additional seating for the growing school, restores its historic artefacts and future proofs the building as a central place of worship.

Brief

Designed in 1893 by one of the most prevalent English architects of Victorian England, Thomas Graham Jackson, Radley College Chapel is a superb example of Jackson’s architectural eclecticism.

The Grade II*-listed chapel is a focal point of college life and is an important part of the school’s culture.

Design

Our winning vision of the extension was to extend the east end of the chapel, to provide a greater focus on the sanctuary and the opportunity for reordering in the space to ensure that the building’s functions are optimised.

The extension is a conscious continuation of Jackson’s design, whilst also having its own contemporary character and presence and is an important part of the school’s evolution and future. In addition, the architectural detailing, material selection, scale and proportion of the extensions have all been driven by the sense of design unity within the chapel.

The approach taken was to extend to the east, creating a new sanctuary, with small ‘apses’ extending to the north and south. This series of small interventions have enabled the number of seats to be increased by 30% within the existing nave.

BIM

In developing the chapel’s extension, our team are using Building Information Modelling (BIM) as an opportunity to peel back the layers of the chapel’s history and convert raw information into an accurate model.

The BIM model not only informs the current project but develops an efficient long-term facilities management plan for the college.

By developing a BIM model, we have been able to interrogate the design proposal and undertake clash detection to de-risk the design before commencement on site whilst also flagging issues that might have not been identified during the design stages.

Location: Oxfordshire
Client: Radley College
Listing Status: Grade II*