Ridge has been working with the University of Oxford and SAID Business School to redevelop the former power station, situated next to Osney Island in the centre of Oxford, into a Global Centre of Excellence for Executive Education.
Ridge is delivering Project Management services for the scheme to redevelop the former power station into an Executive Education Centre, to provide the Business School with a cutting-edge teaching facility with residential accommodation.
The historically significant, and locally listed building is in an enviable position next to the River Thames, adjacent to the neighbouring Osney Island conservation area.
The Business School is looking to develop the site into a residential building for high-calibre bespoke courses for international business people.
There are several constraints relating to the site. These are flood risks, its position in a residential neighbourhood, a restricted site for construction, impact on long views over the city, as well as treatment of the existing building and its historic significance.
The business school’s requirements are for a building with a minimum of 120 hotel-style bedrooms, four flexible teaching rooms and flexible dining facilities for 140 participants, as well as riverside bar and gym for leisure use.
The building is being developed to provide future-proofed education facilities allowing adaption to new and existing teaching practise. Much of the existing external building fabric is being maintained, but the overall envelope and internal building services has been developed to provide enhanced thermal performance, with an all induction kitchen being installed, along with heating through MVHC and significant installation of PV to generate electricity at the former power station.
The project has had to overcome several constraints as a result of the tight residential nature of the development, these have included
Designing a scheme within a flood zone, resulting in the requirement for significant negotiations with the Environment Agency. The design has been developed to provide flood tolerance on a 1;1,000-year cycle, along with flood compensation measures throughout the site to prevent worsening of local conditions
Developing a scheme within the Halifax Tower height constraints, which has resulted in discussions with Oxford Preservation Trust, and a significant review of the developments Long Views on the historic city centre
Designing a sub-structure that compensates for medieval finds potentially from the site of a nearby former Abbey, identified during investigations of the site during the design development
Designing a scheme in a tight residential neighbourhood, that respects the industrial nature of the building, doesn’t over impose on the neighbouring terrace properties, but still retains the scale and aesthetic of the historic building, whilst providing increased massing to allow for the Business School’s brief.
The existing building has significant asbestos and lead contamination which needs management and disposal prior to the commencement of the main works.