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Blue Boar Quad at Christ Church, Oxford

Description: Blue Boar Quad at Christ Church

Grade: II*
Date Listed: 10 October 2006
English Heritage Building ID: 1408741

OS Grid Reference: SP5144606109
OS Grid Coordinates: 451446, 206109
Latitude/Longitude: 51.7513, -1.2561

Locality: Oxford
Local Authority: Oxford City Council
County: Oxfordshire
Country: England
Postcode: OX1 4EW

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Listing Text

College residence. 1965-8 by Powell and Moya; Charles Weiss and Partners engineers. Portland Whitbed and Roach stone dressings to brick and thermolite cross walls; exposed pre-cast concrete floor slabs, cills and transoms all bush hammered with calcined flint aggregate, solid stone quoins, and lead panels. Leaded roof with projecting tank houses and sloping penthouse roofs. Long narrow concealed site, enclosed by high stone wall to north, by Peckwater Quad to east, and Canons' gardens and Killcanon to south, through which last Blue Boar Quad is entered. Irregular 'C'-shaped plan set round four staircases, with two and three storeys of undergraduate accommodation (61 bedsits) over semi-basement archive storage and common room, with eight two-bedroom lecturers' sets in the attic. The ground floor level partially excavated and the quad is entered via a ramp. One staircase on east facade, the rest entered from inner courtyard under archway. Wide bays of glazing, made up of pairs of horizontal sliders of which the fixed leaf is double glazed, all of aluminium with black anodized finish, set back behind deep cills and broad stone piers. Staircases with three undergraduate rooms per floor, with aluminium balustrading and tiled floors; the rooms either long with a double-aspect, or south-facing and more square. Interiors not inspected. Plaque with date MCMLXVIII in archway (the plaque commemorating opening by The Queen in May 1968 is on an adjoining wall, separately listed). At western end of courtyard steps rise to entrance of furthest staircase. Seminar room at basement level, formerly intended as bookstore, and muniment room. To the rear the building abuts the long stone wall to Blue Boar Street. Corridors, study bedrooms and two-room penthouses have long fixed benches by the architects, full-height built-in cupboards and doors.

The building is designed as a continuous line, but bent through right-angles to form three enclosed or partly enclosed quads of different sizes, with hard landscaping. The concept is developed from that of Powell and Moya's addition to Brasenose College (1959, listed), and is a smaller and more intricately finished variant of their contemporary Cripps Building, St John's College, Cambridge, of 1964-6. Within the sequence of historic courtyards of Christ Church, Blue Boar Quad 'inwardly is separate, distinct, organic and yet interconnects. Outwardly it is a bold addition to the townscape of backland' (AR November 1968).

Architect and Building News, 29 July 1964, pp.202-6.
Architectural Review, January 1965, p.33
Architectural Review, November 1968, pp.364-8
Sir Philip Powell, 'New Grafted on the Old (Four Additions to Oxford Colleges)', in Monumentum, vol.XI-XII, 1975
Philip Powell, lecture at Oxford University Dept of Continuing Education, 4 February 1997

This text is a legacy record and has not been updated since the building was originally listed. Details of the building may have changed in the intervening time. You should not rely on this listing as an accurate description of the building.

Source: English Heritage

Listed building text is © Crown Copyright. Reproduced under licence.