The Levine Building at Trinity College in central Oxford is a substantial new development set in the heart of Trinity's historic site – this is the first major upgrade of the college’s academic facilities in more than 50 years. It was officially opened by HRH The Prince of Wales on 12th May 2022.
The Levine 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 design supports the College’s ambition to improve diversity of applicants from a wider range of backgrounds, and to be a benchmark for overall accessibility. 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 as well as there being archaeological interest.
The building, which has been 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, and includes 46 new student bedrooms, a major 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 also provides disabled access to the listed Trinity College library. It has been designed in such a way that it can be reconfigured 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."
(image right- Hugh Petter and Trinity College President Dame Hilary Boulding with HRH The Prince of Wales. credit Ian Wallman)
About Trinity College
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, and which 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.