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St Johns College Oxford Shortlisted for RIBA Regional Awards

Date: 22nd June 2020 Author: Madeleine McMullin
Keywords: Architectural

The new Library and Study Centre at St John’s College by Wright & Wright Architects has been shortlisted for the RIBA Regional Awards South 2020. The judging of the Awards has been delayed due to coronavirus and will take place later in the year.

One wall of the building is a work of art by Susanna Heron which has an interior and exterior face.  She turned to stoneCIRCLE with whom she had previously worked to help manufacture the piece.

The resulting artwork, called Stone Drawing, is a shallow carved stone relief in Clipsham limestone, the same stone used in the old university buildings of Oxford, sourced from Stamford Stone who are the sole suppliers of Clipsham stone. The work is situated on both external and internal faces of the west side of the new Library and Study Centre and was completed in 2018. The original 17th century St John’s College library is housed within Canterbury Quadrangle, one of the greatest architectural quadrangles in Oxford and the Study Centre adjoins it.

The carved external wall is 6 metres high and 17.4 metres long and is comprised of three overlapping sections, which are stepped and separated by windows in the reveals. For the exterior relief she took into consideration the way that rain might be directed over the relief, with the idea that weathering would gradually adapt the line of the carving over a long period of time. This consideration created a drawing of water-flow and light. Further reflections are to be seen in the pool of water at its base which will reflect the carving and throw light up the wall and into the interior.

The carved stone relief on the interior walls of the library is more shallow and a mirror image to the exterior. It measures the same 17.4 metres length but with a reduced height of 3.7 metres. 

More details are available in the case study.

Stone Drawing - a work in Clipsham stone by Susanna Heron for St John's College Oxford, produced by stoneCIRCLE

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