The Blavatnik School of Government is one of the University of Oxford’s newest and most vibrant departments.
Founded in 2010 thanks to a £75 million donation by American philanthropist Leonard Blavatnik, the institute has developed an outstanding reputation for excellence in teaching.
A Window to the World
With the school’s mission to ‘inspire and support better government around the world’, Herzog & de Meuron designed the building from the inside out, creating a central forum that cuts vertically through the space to connect all the levels together.
The ‘Inamori Forum’ represents the school’s ideals of openness, communication and transparency and was inspired by the interior courtyards typical of historic colleges. The resulting curved exterior of the building also echoes the iconic architecture of Oxford’s Radcliffe Camera, Sheldonian Theatre and Bodleian Library.
Officially opened by HRH the Duke of Cambridge in May 2016, the school is renowned for its “Window to the world” – the largest double-glazed single pane of glass in Europe, measuring 10.5m x 3.2m, which floods the building with natural light.
Featuring a green roof and 107 photovoltaic panels, the building is expected to consume 49% less energy in comparison to existing UK buildings of the same size, contributing to its certification as ‘BREEAM Excellent’.
The building received several RIBA awards and was shortlisted for the Stirling Prize in 2016, with Guardian journalists commenting, “its spiralling interior is one of the most uplifting spaces built in Oxford in a century”, the Oxford Mail calling it “Oxford’s iconic architecture” and the FT commenting on its “sculptural exuberance“.
How INTRAsystems made it Happen
The high traffic location and irregular shape of the building posed some unique challenges to the architects. The building’s irregular stack of cylindrical and horseshoe-shaped floors required a bespoke entrance matting solution and expert installation to ensure a precise fit to the curved profile and revolving doors.
Working in partnership with the architects, INTRAsystems supplied INTRAflex XT with a black anodised frame and black 608 INTRAlux Elite inserts made from 100% Econyl regenerated nylon to complement the building design and support the sustainability aims.
Entrance Matting plays a crucial role in building safety, preventing the ingress of dirt and moisture and minimising slips and trips. At The Blavatnik School of Government, the entrance matting specification provides a durable barrier that enhances the building design and meets their stringent sustainability criteria.
Contact the team to request your free sample today.