The Levine Building, a substantial new development at Trinity College in Oxford, has been completed and officially opened by HRH The Prince of Wales on 12 May 2022.
The Levine Building in the heart of Trinity’s historic site is the first significant upgrade of the College’s academic facilities in more than 50 years.
The building provides world-class facilities for teaching, residential accommodation, public outreach, and social activity, including purpose-built teaching rooms, student bedrooms, a large flexible function room, and an informal study/community space with café.
The building, designed as a modern classical building that will sit comfortably and harmoniously with its neighbours, is a cluster of 4 buildings, each with its own scale, character, and use. It is designed to sit comfortably within the College’s rich built and landscape heritage – on a site within a listed garden with significant historic trees nearby.
It includes 46 new student bedrooms, a new auditorium, a suite of new teaching rooms, a community space and café, a function space with rooftop garden, and a new library wing that provides disabled access to the listed Trinity College library.
The building has been designed to be reconfigurable internally over time if the needs of the College change. ADAM Architecture worked closely with user groups drawn from across the whole College community so that specific needs could be addressed.
It has stone-faced elevations finished in a honey-coloured ashlar limestone to match that used elsewhere in the College, and a pitched slate-covered roof. The palette of materials used and traditional design principles employed in a restrained manner ensures the new building harmonises with the rich pantheon of historic buildings in the College.
ADAM Architecture was selected after a limited design competition in 2010 to design the new building to address the long term need for modern student accommodation and new academic facilities. Planning permission for the scheme was finally granted with unanimous approval by Oxford City Council in 2018, following a lengthy and complex planning process.
On opening the Building, The Prince of Wales said: “Trinity College presents the University at a human scale. And the work of your academics – as we’ve seen – is a force for good. I congratulate you all on the vital work you do and the generosity of spirit that underpins it. That same generosity of spirit clearly infused the development of this wonderful building.
It’s a great responsibility to create new state-of-the-art facilities within an inspiring and historic setting – and indeed one that includes buildings by such giants as Christopher Wren. I offer my warmest congratulations to the many people who contributed their talents and expertise to create a building worthy of this historic site.”
Trinity College is one of 39 colleges that make up the Collegiate University of Oxford; it was founded in 1555 in what was then a rural outpost that now forms the heart of Oxford’s city centre.
The College has developed over four and a half centuries, including designs by some of the great architects such as Sir Christopher Wren, Henry Aldrich, Thomas Graham Jackson, and Leonard Shuffrey, and is now a vibrant and diverse educational community of 450 students plus 300 academics and staff from more than 40 countries.
The College has produced award-winning academics, successful leaders in the business, political and economic worlds, and passionate public servants, teachers, and campaigners.
The building is named for Sadie and Gerry Levine, the parents of Trinity Old Member Peter Levine, who came up as an undergraduate in the 1970s and whose generosity kickstarted the project.