Tinbergen building redevelopment | University of Oxford

Tinbergen building redevelopment

Creating a world-class centre for life and mind sciences

The University is developing plans for the construction of an exciting new building on the site of the existing, now empty, Tinbergen building on the junction of St Cross Rd and South Parks Rd.

The provisionally-named Life and Mind Building will be the largest building project the University has ever undertaken and will significantly improve the way psychological and biological science is undertaken in Oxford, helping scientists to solve some of our major global challenges. It will be home to the Department of Experimental Psychology and a new Department of Biology, combining the existing departments of Plant Sciences and Zoology.

The Life and Mind Building will transform the education experience for students, providing laboratories for undergraduates, postgraduates and researchers, as well as lecture theatres, specialised support laboratories and opportunities for public engagement with our research.

The new building will also aim to facilitate the University’s schools and public outreach through shared opportunities for art, exhibitions, lectures and conferences, offering a ‘window into science’.

While it will occupy the same site as the existing Tinbergen building, it will enhance this gateway to Oxford’s Science Area and create an exciting public space with better connections to the surrounding area.


Preliminary discussions are being held with Oxford City Council and will continue during 2019, and the design team (comprising NBBJ architects supported by engineers Ramboll and Hoare Lea) are now developing the concept design.

As part of the proposed site redevelopment, various enabling works will be needed in relation to adjacent and adjoining buildings, as well as infrastructure works, ahead of the demolition of the current building. We intend to submit a planning application to Oxford City Council for these in July 2019, followed by a planning application for the replacement building in late 2019.
Public consultation event 17-18 May 2019

This is the first of two planned public consultations about the development. It sets out our proposals for and invites feedback on the enabling and demolition works and the emerging design for the new building. Members of the project and design teams will be available to answer questions and all feedback received will be taken into careful consideration in progressing the scheme.


  • Friday 17 May 2019 between 16:00 and 19:00
  • Saturday 18 May 2019 between 10:00 and 13:00


  • The Linbury Room, Worcester College, Walton Street, Oxford OX1 2H

Worcester College is located in the centre of Oxford on the junction of Beaumont Street, Walton Street and Worcester Street. The college is just across the road from the main bus and coach station, and is a 10 minute walk from the railway station and main shopping areas.

Please give us your feedback

If you have attended one of the events and didn’t complete a feedback form at the time, you can give us your feedback online here until 1 June. 

You can also view the boards here: Tinbergen Redevelopment proposal if you would like to see them again or if you have been unable to attend one of the events. The University will review all feedback and will take it into account before details are finalised and the detailed planning application submitted. 

If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact the project team at lifeandmind@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Tinbergen Building

The Tinbergen building was the University’s largest teaching and research building before its closure in February 2017 due to the discovery of asbestos throughout the structure and in inaccessible areas.  It was not possible to remove this while the building was occupied.

Work began on the site in October 2018 to safely remove all asbestos using highly specialist contractors prior to demolition, alongside the development of plans for the new building. 

More information

If you have any queries about our plans for this transformational new building or about ongoing work on the site, please contact us at lifeandmind@admin.ox.ac.uk.

On going updates will be provided on this page as the project progresses.

Was this page useful?*