The Tinbergen Building in Oxford.

Public consultation on redevelopment of Tinbergen Building

The University of Oxford is holding the first of two public consultations on Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May to present its plans to redevelop the site of the Tinbergen Building in the University’s Science Area.

It proposes to demolish the existing building, on the corner of St Cross Road and South Parks Road, to make way for a new (provisionally named) Life and Mind Building. The building will accommodate the Department of Experimental Psychology and a new Department of Biology, combining the existing Departments of Plant Sciences and Zoology. 

As part of this redevelopment, various enabling works are proposed in relation to adjacent and adjoining buildings, as well as infrastructure works and the demolition of the current building. At the consultation event the University will set out its proposals for and invite feedback on these and on the emerging design concepts for the new building.

The University intends to submit a planning application to Oxford City Council for the enabling and demolition works in July 2019. A second consultation will take place in the autumn of this year to set out detailed proposals for the building and a planning application for these will be submitted before the end of 2019.

The University has approved £192m of capital funding for the project and expects to attract significant additional donor funding. It is anticipated that the building will be operational in 2024.

The public consultation is taking place at Worcester College, Walton Street, between 4pm and 7pm on Friday 17 May and between 10am and 1pm on Saturday 18 May. Members of the project and design teams will be available to answer questions and visitors will be invited to give their feedback on the proposal, either at the event or online until Saturday 1 June at www.oxford.ox.ac.uk/lifeandmind.

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. 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. In February 2018 the University appointed the design team for the project, led by NBBJ architects.

Professor Chris Kennard, the University’s senior responsible owner for the project, said: ‘Our vision for the new building is that it will transform the way psychological and biological science is done in Oxford because it will enable more multidisciplinary collaboration and sharing of knowledge and ideas to happen than ever before. Quite simply it will help scientists to solve some of our major global challenges.

‘It will also be transformational for our students, in terms of their education experience and choices, as well as providing exciting new public spaces and more opportunities for public engagement with our research.’