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.

Planning application

The University has submitted a planning application for demolition of the Tinbergen Building and enabling works to adjacent and adjoining buildings to allow redevelopment of the site. This follows a public consultation held in May, setting out our proposals and inviting feedback. You can view the information boards here.

We expect a decision on the application in the early Autumn and if approved, demolition would start in December 2019, completing in December 2020.
Meanwhile preliminary discussions about the replacement building have been held with Oxford City Council and will continue during 2019. The design team are now developing the concept design and we intend to submit a planning application to Oxford City Council for the replacement building early next year.

About the building

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’.  Whilst 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.

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.

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