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Key construction milestone reached for new Oxford Brookes University buildings

Oxford Brookes University is celebrating a milestone in the construction of two brand new, innovative buildings that will offer dynamic teaching, learning and research facilities.

The state-of-the-art teaching buildings and workshops at the University’s Headington Hill site will enhance STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and creative industries activities.

The construction of the new buildings is a key part of the University’s long term Oxford Campus Vision which will see Oxford Brookes bring together all its Oxford activities on the Headington Campus over the coming years. The new buildings are set to open their doors for the 2024/25 academic year and will be the new home for the University’s School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, currently based at Wheatley. 

The construction of both buildings recently reached their highest points and Oxford Brookes celebrated this milestone with a ’topping out’ ceremony. The ceremony was attended by guests including Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University. 

Professor Fitt said: “The construction of these two innovative buildings is moving at a fast pace, and we look forward to opening the doors in the 2024/25 academic year.

“Students, staff, industry partners and the local community are going to benefit immensely from the rich and stimulating environment that these fantastic new spaces will offer, where they can learn, study, work and socialise. 

“I would like to extend a thank you to our construction partners, Willmott Dixon, as well as a range of partners who have played a key role in the development of two important buildings for the University and wider region.”

Transforming student and staff experience

As well as being the new home for the School of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics, the facilities will also co-locate the University’s Schools of Architecture and Built Environment and the School of Arts on one campus.

The teaching building will be on three floors and include innovations such as immersion and robotics laboratories, as well as  technologies like Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), Mixed Reality (MR) and 3D printing. A centrepiece VR Cave will allow students to step into an immersive world in order to create virtual buildings and towns, and disassemble Formula 1 cars and test different designs. 

The workshop will become a hub for students and staff from motorsport and mechanical engineering who will benefit from high-voltage testing facilities, advanced scanning technology and an automotive lab with a range of Formula 1 racing cars. In addition, Oxford Brookes Racing, the University’s award-winning Formula Student team, will be based in the workshop. 

Oxford Brookes has partnered with sustainable development specialists Willmott Dixon for the construction of the Headington Hill project.  

Richard Poulter, Managing Director of Willmott Dixon, said: “This project is about more than just bricks and mortar. It is about the future of education, the nurturing of young minds, and the creation of an environment that inspires creativity and learning. We also take pride in our commitment to sustainability. The Headington Hill Buildings are designed with the environment in mind, embodying modern construction principles that align with the University’s mission to promote responsible and sustainable development. We look forward to seeing the project progress and are excited for the opening”.

More information on the new Headington Hill site can be read on the University website

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