In 2004, the University held a competition to appoint an architect to develop a Masterplan for the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter. Rafael Viñoly Architects were appointed in 2005 and a draft Masterplan was subsequently drawn up.
The Masterplan is a formal planning tool designed to ensure that the development of the site is integrated and best use is made of the land. It sets out a vision for the entire site, but is not intended to dictate the detailed planning of every element. It is a flexible guideline which sets out a cohesive plan, but also allows for the changes and adaptations that will inevitably occur as the site is developed.
During 2006 and 2007, a range of extensive consultations took place within the University and with the wider community and interested bodies. More than 1,000 people attended various events as part of the public consultation process, which included public meetings and exhibitions.
An amended draft of the Masterplan which took account of the points raised during the consultations was submitted to Oxford City Council in 2007. After further consultations and amendments, the final draft of the Masterplan was submitted to Oxford City Council and to the University’s Council for endorsement in 2008.