PLANNING NEWS: Planning project the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College, Oxford wins three RIBA awards

We are delighted to share the news that our colleagues at Niall McLaughlin have won three prestigious RIBA awards for the stunning Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, at Worcester College Oxford that we achieved planning consent for.


The setting has been described as ‘unbeatable’ in the idyllic garden of one of Oxford’s most historic colleges.

The planning application and subsequent successful consent achieved for the development was managed by Rural Solutions’ Director of Planning, Duncan Hartley.

Duncan said ‘The Worcester College site presented really tough planning challenges, from very special nationally recognised heritage assets to protected species and trees, and from a very constrained land use arrangement.

I am particularly proud of how the project team, with the support of the City Council, met those challenges and secured, and indeed, enhanced the character and appearance of this remarkable site and landscape.’

The RIBA article stated ‘It was not an easy path to get here: the college had an urgent need for the teaching facilities it contains, but had to prove that there was nowhere else in their capacious campus to accommodate them and demonstrate that they could build it without harming the floodplain, the adjacent trees or the matchless setting.

It has taken time, unstinting application from the client and the procurement team, a generous donor prepared to cover the eye-watering build cost, a building team capable of the highest levels of craftsmanship and an architectural team capable of the very highest design quality.

The building is uncompromisingly modern in style, with smooth planes of stone and glass and minimal detailing relying on stonemasons, plasterers and joiners at the very top of their game.

It is the natural materials, superbly honed, that ground the building and make it belong. It is the architectural design – the timeless pursuit of ordering space and light and form – that makes it a thing of pure joy.’

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *