ARCO Building, Keble College, Oxford, UK

Rick Mather
Date Built
Opened July 1, 1995
Newman Quad
The Keble College website explains that in the post-war years they had relied on Oxford Landladies to provide student accommodation within walking distance of the college.  By the 1980s this avenue started to dry up so the college decided to build enough accommodation on-site to make it possible to provide undergraduates with three years of college residence instead of the previous two.  The ARCO building in Newman Quad was a part of that solution.  Designed by Rick Mather, it provides 93 study bedrooms over four floors.  The college describes it as, "... one of the 'greenest' buildings in Oxford, using advanced insulation and heat exchange mechanisms to control the temperature of the building. The ARCO building also houses several teaching rooms which open out onto a terrace and Newman quad.  These are frequently used both for tutorials and, out of term, as meeting rooms for conferences."

A sundial graces the façade of the building.  "The elegant, polished stainless steel and the gnomon’s minimalist shape of a gas turbine blade reflect Newman Quad’s clean aesthetic as well as the colours of the grass and sky. It has Arabic numerals, used by mathematicians, rather than traditional Roman ones. Professor Oldfield was assisted by artist David Harber's creative and technical skills, gaining the approval of Rick Mather, the architect of the ARCO building. The sundial bears two inscriptions (and you'll have to look carefully to find them); ‘Fear no more the heat o' the sun’, taken from Shakespeare's Cymbeline, honours the completion of Professor Oldfield’s 41 years at the College; the second is an academic pun: ‘To good fellowship.’"

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