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Florey Building

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James Stirling
location Oxford
function student housing, university
contributed by davidb

The Florey Building student accommodation was the last of three buildings (along with the Leicester Engineering and Cambridge History Faculty buildings) that identified 'Big Jim' as a major player on the architectural stage in the 1960s. However, its realisation was fraught with difficulties. It sits like a UFO on the banks of the River Thames (or Isis as it is called in Oxford). The student's rooms are arranged in a distorted 'U'-shape, held aloft on an exposed concrete 'A'-frame. The inner, totally glazed, fa├žade faces north, giving every room a view of the river. The rooms are accessed by corridors, running around the outside. These are expressed by horizontal strip windows on each floor. The rooms are arranged over four levels, with the upper most having double-height gallery rooms, intended for graduates. The ground floor contains common rooms and dining facilities. The building is finished in the original patent glazing and terra cotta coloured tiles.

davidb says:
Charlie, thanks for the correction over the River Cherwell. That'll teach me to check my sources - or look at a map!
Kingswinford, United Kingdom 21-Apr-11
Charlie says:
An interesting point is that the building was originally designed to be entered via a planned riverside walkway, which unfortunately didn't go ahead, so now the building is only accessible from the main road side. Also a minor correction, The Florey Building sits on the River Cherwell which runs in to the Thames about 1km further south.
High point two says:
I have blogged about this building!
wim says:
this is a fabulous and important building by a great architect (who perhaps went on to lose his way)
Glasgow, United Kingdom 20-Sep-10
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Florey Building
St Clement's Street 23
United Kingdom
Project is not public!
How to get there? From the east end of the High Street, cross the river by the bridge on the north side and follow this round eastwards into St Clement's Street. The building can be reached by taking the first left into York Place, or by taking the third left which gives access to a public car park. The second left is the private road that serves the building. The building can also be seen from the river by means of a small path that runs from the very end of York Place to the adjacent car park.
Completion 1971
ArchitectJames Stirling
contractorW. E. Chivers & Sons
Client Queen's College, University of Oxford
Project ID 2924
Latitude/Longitude 51°45'03N 01°14'35W
Contributed by davidb
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