The Command WorksOxfordshire

The first new build development within the historic setting of the former RAF Bicester Station responds to the site's special character through the careful arrangement of buildings, the spaces between them and their materiality.

Ridge has been working with Bicester Heritage since 2015 with masterplanning and visioning supporting the creation of Bicester Motion, the UK’s first immersive resort celebrating the past, present and future of automotive culture and technology.

This development provides over 6,500sqm of much sought after workshop and office accommodation for the existing expanding businesses on site and attracting new like minded tenants to this unique place.

A conservation area in its entirety, with a wealth of history and a plethora of heritage assets, the site-wide regeneration framework was produced looking towards an exciting and sustainable future as a national destination for leisure and skills, automotive innovation and technology, exhibitions, cultural events and experience centres.

  • Winner

    Conservation & Regeneration SECBE Award 2021

  • 6,500sqm

    Development project size

  • 8

    New buildings in conservation area

  • 348

    Acre site

  • Regional Finalist

    Civic Trust Awards 2021

Bicester Heritage has saved a site of national historic importance, once ‘At Risk’ of inappropriate development, and created a home for a sustainable, thriving modern business and technology campus that is now regarded a ‘national exemplar of constructive conservation’ by Historic England

Constructing Excellence SECBE Awards judging panel

Design development included extensive design exercises in order to deliver a proposal that would balance heritage, landscape and functional requirements. The development is a contemporary interpretation of the existing 20’s and 30’s buildings. The language of the new site combines and merges the formal layout and rational programme of the existing structures with the fluidity and flexibility of modern buildings. Therefore, the architecture is complementary, drawing inspiration and borrowing certain elements from the existing original buildings without mimicking them.

Embracing the historic RAF site location, full use was made of existing structures, which include listed buildings and Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Together with the new interventions, these comprise a rich mix of both materials and scale: defence structures, complementing and enhancing the site’s character and adding to the sustainable economic foundations of this important historic asset.

The eight new buildings provide a total building area of 6,500sqm with facilities for offices, workshops, showroom and storage.

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