John Henry Brookes Building judged to be one of top 15 new buildings in the country

Thursday, 17 July 2014


The John Henry Brookes Building has received further recognition from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) in making the midlist for the Stirling Prize.

The RIBA awards are the most rigorously-judged awards for architectural excellence and champion the best new buildings.

The John Henry Brookes Building narrowly missed out the shortlist for the Stirling prize but was considered one of the top 15 buildings in making the greatest contribution to the evolution of architecture over the past year.  

This follows last month’s announcement that Oxford Brookes’ John Henry Brookes Building and its architects Design Engine had won a national award from RIBA. This is in addition to three regional awards in the RIBA South section.

The RIBA judges have described the Oxford Brookes’ flagship building as “simply brilliant”.

The judges also commented that the John Henry Brookes Building, which was submitted alongside the Abercrombie Building, “made us wish we could go back to university again.”  

Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, said: “To have reached the midlist and be considered amongst the top fifteen buildings as part of the RIBA awards is a great achievement.

“The John Henry Brookes Building provides our students with inspirational spaces to match our excellent teaching and research and I am delighted that we have received such prestigious recognition.”

Matt Gaskin, Head of the School of Architecture, added: “The Stirling Prize is the pinnacle of architectural recognition and it is fantastic that the John Henry Brookes Building has made the midlist. This is testament to our vision in providing inspirational architectural spaces to complement our excellent teaching and research. 

“I am pleased for Design Engine who have long been involved with the School of Architecture and our graduates. Students have already made the new space their own and our award-winning architecture will continue to inspire for years to come.”

Design Engine Architects Director Richard Jobson commented: "We are honoured that the John Henry Brookes and Abercrombie Building has reached the Stirling Prize midlist as one of this country's fifteen best new buildings.

“It is a wonderful outcome to a great collaborative effort by the client and wider design team. Equally thrilling is how staff and students alike have embraced their new building - it's as if it's always been there."  

The John Henry Brookes and Abercrombie Buildings are designed to meet the University’s vision for a holistic approach to enhancing the student experience.

Oxford Brookes’ campus redevelopment provides an adaptable and flexible environment for a dynamic range of teaching and learning spaces.

Since the building opened in late February, students have already made the John Henry Brookes Building their own.   

The Colonnade shops and café on the piazza leading up the new main entrance to Headington campus is due open later in the summer. This continued campus development, alongside spaces such as the new Glass Tank exhibition space in the Abercrombie Building, provides fantastic facilities for the wider community.  

Further information on the John Henry Brookes and Abercrombie Building is available on the Space to Think webpages. To read more about the awards, visit the RIBA webpages.