Open Door: Magdalen College Library, Oxford

Open Door, a partnership between the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and British Council, is designed to promote and celebrate outstanding conservation work by emerging architects in mainland China and in the UK.

Magdalen College Library – Oxford, England
Wright & Wright Architects
Category 2: Heritage buildings built before 1901

Comprising the repair of the Buckler building, and a new build semi-subterranean library to expand library facilities to modern standards. The sensitive siting means the college quad is activated, but not dominated by the new buildings. The understated addition does not compete with, or harm the setting of the historic context, despite significantly adding to it.

The Open Door project is aimed at architects who have been qualified for 10 years or less. It highlights the best of recent architectural heritage projects and the environmental and cultural benefits of building conservation. It also aims to foster knowledge sharing between expert practitioners in both countries, facilitating future UK-China dialogue on architecture and design.

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