Gallery: Rafael Viñoly’s Green-Roofed Mathematical Institute at Oxford ...

Rafael Viñoly has sent us renders of the new Mathematical Institute at Oxford University, which will have a green roof, combined heating and cooling, a self-shading facade and a series of other sustainable features that will help it achieve a targeted rating of BREEAM Excellent. The project is the first of several buildings that will make up the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, and it's designed to amalgamate the formerly scattered mathematical department in one central and private location that pays respect to both its environmental and its historic context.

Comprised of two wings joined by a glazed volume, the University of Oxford’s new Mathematical Institute is designed to provide the scientists with the requisite privacy while also promoting collaboration. A giant atrium with a glazed clerestory runs virtually the entire length of the building, bringing natural light not only to the mezzanine level but also to the below grade classrooms and lecture theaters. Heating and cooling is achieved with a ground source pumping system.

The green roof and terrace provides both staff and pupils with a great, healthy place to pass time, but the sedum also promotes biodiversity, controls rainwater runoff and improves the program’s overall energy performance. The vertical louvers protect the interior against excess solar gain (and give researchers protection from curious eyes), further ensuring that very little mechanical intervention will be required to keep the building cool. Rainwater and greywater will be recycled to irrigate the grounds and 500 parking bays for bicycles will promote cleaner transportation. Construction of the 262,600 square foot facility is expected to be complete in 2013.

+ Rafael Viñoly


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