Hawkins\Brown team wins competition for design team for £1bn Begbroke Innovation District


Oxford University Development, a £4bn joint venture between the University of Oxford and Legal & General Capital, today announces the winner of the international design competition to find a creative, forward-thinking masterplan team for its world-leading £1billion, 190-hectare mixed-use Innovation District at Begbroke Science Park, just to the north of Oxford.

A team led by Hawkins\Brown has been successful amongst an extremely competitive field of 40 submissions. The winner was selected following a rigorous assessment process and review of proposals by the project team, a technical panel and a jury panel supported by specialist advisers.

Hawkins\Brown demonstrated design flair through strong leadership, a collaborative approach and cross-sector expertise that resulted in a fresh approach to the new Innovation District. The jury found the winning team had balanced the need for delivery, design, attention to phasing and the evolution of the place. The team offered a very strong response to the design challenge, proposed creative integration of different uses, as well as sensitive consideration of existing communities and those who will come to use the spaces.

Hawkins\Brown’s team comprised OKRA (Netherlands), BuroHappold and C:Lab, RCKa, Ooze (Netherlands), and Murray Twohig.

The team is a well-balanced blend of established, international, large and small practices who will bring fresh perspectives to the growth of an innovation district of international standing.

Anna Strongman, CEO, Oxford University Development, said:

“We’re thrilled to have found a stellar team that will work with us to design a masterplan that responds to Oxford’s housing needs and propels the economic attraction of the new centre as an exemplary place to live, work, and foster innovation and enterprise. We look forward to working with the councils and surrounding communities to deliver benefits for local people as well as compete on the global stage”

Darryl Chen, Urban Design lead at Hawkins\Brown, said:

“This is one of those rare opportunities to set an agenda for a type of place that doesn’t quite yet exist. Begbroke will see new homes and space for science set within a semi-rural location driven by clients with a long-term outlook. We’re super-happy that Oxford University Development have selected our team of spicy talents to work with them. We’re going to give it our all!”

The competition was focused on finding the right team to develop a masterplan with Cherwell District Council, Oxfordshire County Council and surrounding local communities. Hawkins Brown will set the bold ambition and design intent for a project that will transform the area around the University’s Begbroke Science Park, to the north of Oxford.  The project will also create a community of up to 2,000 quality homes, with new schools, public park and nature reserve.

OUD’s aspiration is to create a boundary-pushing scheme that demonstrably achieves a step-change in sustainable design, delivery, and operation. The new district will seek to attract the very best minds, while driving economic growth, improving transport connections, delivering benefits for local people, as well as enhancing the surrounding natural landscape. The site will provide an exemplary new setting for the University’s world-leading science and innovation, which will help address key global challenges facing humanity – from food security and biodiversity to climate change and the urgent need to move to a zero-carbon economy alongside seeking to reduce health inequity.

The competition was managed by Colander Associates and Turner & Townsend.


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BDC 314 : Mar 2024