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University College Boathouse Oxford

The RIBA Award-winning University College boathouse has become an iconic building on the banks of the Thames. It replaces an earlier boathouse, and contains rowing and social facilities as well as residential accommodation.

The building was the subject of lengthy planning negotiations, and successfully tackles issues including building on a flood plain and protecting wetland habitats. Rowing and the riverside location were key influences: the long copper roof suggests the keel of an upturned boat, and cuts through the sky like an oar through water. Deep eaves provide shelter for rowers and spectators, and carefully positioned lightwells bring daylight into the heart of the building.

At ground floor, brick offers structural strength and security, and contrasts with the lightness of the roof. A central void brings light and views of the surrounding landscape into the core, and creates an airy circulation space. The glazed clubroom on the first floor offers views of the river and events taking place below.


RIBA Award 2008

Oxford Preservation Trust Award 2008

Civic Trust Award 2009


Row 360 magazine – September 2014

Boathouses/Adam Mornement magazine – 2010

The Oxford Times – 26th March 2009

The Civic Trust Awards publication – March 2009

Plan magazine – December 2008

Thames Guardian newspaper – Winter 2008

Architects Journal RIBA Awards publication – 3rd July 2008

Plan magazine  – May / June 2008

Architecture Today magazine – April 2008

Boathouses/Clare Sheriff – 2008

Architecture and Detail magazine – 2008

Berthon magazine – 2008

Building Design magazine – 14 December 2007

The Oxford Times – 1st June 2007

Detail Magazine – June 2006

The Oxford University Newsletter 2006

The Oxford Times – 24th June 2005

The Oxford Times – 13th May 2005

Building Design magazine – 6th May 2005