Smart Solution for Oxford University’s Saïd Business School

Posted by Barry Pearson on January 29, 2013  |   Comments Off on Smart Solution for Oxford University’s Saïd Business School

The second phase of Oxford University’s Saïd Business School was completed in July 2012 and will be officially opened in February 2013. The building’s striking appearance features a range of aluminium doors and windows from commercial systems specialist Smart Architectural Aluminium, designed manufactured and installed by Avdon Bristol Limited, a Smart specialist partner.

Adjacent to Oxford’s railway station and at the heart of a regeneration area of the city, phase two of the Business School continues the design themes and values that were established when the first phase opened in 2001. Developed around a central staircase, the new building provides high quality facilities for executive education and MBA students, including a range of lecture theatres, classrooms and meeting facilities as well as a large club room and several dining areas.

With over 685m² of Smart’s systems used across the building, the project features the company’s Superglide patio doors and Visoline tilt & turn, casement windows, doors and frames, all supplied in a polyester powder coated grey finish to reflect the overall design scheme of the development.

Commenting on the design approach, architect Michael Trigg, Associate Director at Dixon Jones Ltd, said: “When specifying the windows and doors, we were looking for a continuation of the first phase of the development, with elegant lines to echo the appearance of the original building. The Smart systems provided an excellent solution.”

A striking feature of the new building’s external façade is an 8.2 metre run of Smart Visoglide sliding doors, installed in an unusual ‘zigzag’ formation, as Michael Trigg explains: “Not only does this create a really interesting aesthetic, acting to shift the view from the inside of the building towards the city of Oxford, but the sliding doors also make the space extremely flexible, allowing easy movement between the club room and the large paved terrace.”

Elsewhere, Visoglide doors have also been used to provide a similar feeling of light and space to the meeting and dining rooms, some with access to external and others to internal balcony areas. Continuing the design theme, the Visoline casement and tilt & turn windows and single and Smart Wall double doors were installed where possible without mullions or transoms to accentuate the systems’ slim lines. Finally an imposing Smart Wall double door leads students, staff and visitors from the building’s reception area to the central staircase and the impressive facilities beyond.

The design, manufacture and installation of the door and window systems were all managed by Avdon Bristol Limited, one of Smart’s specialist fabrication partners, who worked in close partnership with Dixon Jones and main contractor Chalegrove Properties Ltd to successfully deliver the project. “We had an excellent relationship with Avdon throughout the process – they took our design principles and made sure they were translated to the window and door systems. The whole process worked extremely well, and we are delighted with the end result”, said Michael Trigg.

Eddie Robinson, Managing Director at Smart Architectural Aluminium said: “We were thrilled to have been involved in such a prestigious development, for one of the world’s leading academic institutions. This was a truly collaborative project which delivered an outstanding building, one which we believe fits perfectly in the historic city of Oxford”.

With over 30 years’ experience, Smart Architectural Aluminium has grown to become one of the UK’s leading aluminium systems suppliers, providing standard and bespoke solutions for a wide range of projects across both the public and private sector. With an enviable reputation for quality, innovation, design expertise and technical support, the company’s systems are proven in projects of all size, scale and complexity.