Where is it?
The Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ) is a ten-acre plot of land in central Oxford. It lies between the Woodstock Road and Walton Street, with Somerville College to the south and Green Templeton College to the north.
Before the University purchased the site in March 2003, it was occupied by the Radcliffe Hospital, some of which was listed but the majority of which was built in the mid twentieth century and was in a poor condition. Development of the hospital site ended in the 1970s because of the opening of the new John Radcliffe Hospital in Headington, to the east of the city centre.
What is there?
Today, much of the ROQ site has been developed by the University, in line with the original master plan for the site, which was approved in 2008 prior to the University’s acquisition. This identified the buildings that needed to be preserved and renovated and land on which new buildings could be built, including the Andrew Wiles Building which houses the Mathematical Institute (opened in 2013) and the Blavatnik School of Government (opened in 2015).
Other buildings underwent extensive renovation, including St Luke’s Chapel, the Radcliffe Humanities building (formerly the Radcliffe Infirmary building) and the Radcliffe Primary Care building (formerly the Outpatients building).
The University’s ongoing vision for the ROQ is to create an attractive, integrated site with state-of-the-art facilities which provide a vibrant academic community with opportunities for collaboration. The aim is to encourage collaboration across different disciplines through shared research and social space.
Benefits for the local community include the Jericho Health Centre and easy access across the site between the Woodstock Road and Walton Street. The programme of public art is intended to create a dynamic, welcoming environment for the benefit of all.
What is happening now?
Most recently we have installed a temporary modular building on part of the site adjacent to the Walton Street to house research and teaching staff while a permanent replacement for the Tinbergen Building (in the Science Area) is developed.
The University is now reviewing options for new buildings on the central plot and also revisiting the site’s overall master plan to ensure that it meets our ongoing needs and in the light of the development that has taken place over recent years.
What will happen next?
Future development of the remaining plots on the ROQ will be designed to integrate with the site and will be subject to the University’s comprehensive public consultation process.