Oxford Preservation Trust Award for St Antony’s

Oxford Preservation Trust Award for St Antony’s

4 November 2021

Earlier this week, the Warden was delighted to receive a Building Conservation award from the Oxford Preservation Trust.

The refurbishment of the Hilda Besse Building was recognised by the Oxford Preservation Trust as the best building conservation project in 2021, alongside Oxford’s Story Museum. The award is especially significant for the Hilda Besse, considering that the Conservation Award historically recognises predominantly older buildings.

The Trust seeks to enhance Oxford by encouraging thoughtful development and new design, while protecting historic buildings and green open spaces, and it presents its annual awards in order ‘to recognise the finest new buildings and the most exemplary efforts to preserve older structures’.

In 2021, the Trust had an unprecedented number of entries - 60 in total - making it their largest year to date. Now in the 44th year of the competition, the judges were pleased to see an extremely high calibre of design, which helps make a contribution to Oxford and its green spaces

The panel of judges had noted how much lighter and spacious the Hilda Besse building seemed; the reconfiguration of space was well thought-out and implemented. They also found the roof replacement and addition of circular windows bringing light into the dining hall to be impressive and all agreed that the space was much more inviting and inclusive for St Antony’s students.  The judges particularly noticed that the floor finish had been replaced and the previous lacquer had been removed- which really transformed the space.

Roger Goodman at the OPT Awards 2021