Competition launched for design team for £1bn Oxford Innovation District

Oxford University Development, a joint venture between the University of Oxford and Legal & General Capital, today launches an international design competition to find a creative, forward-thinking masterplan team for its world-leading £1billion, 190-hectare mixed-use Innovation District at Begbroke Science Park.

BECG is honoured to be supporting the project with PR and communications consultancy at this early stage, briefed to support with the execution and delivery of an exemplary consultation process – months before the masterplan team is appointed.

The winning design team will set the bold ambition and design intent for a project that will transform the area around the University’s Begbroke Science Park, to the north of Oxford. The project will also create a community of up to 2,000 quality homes, with new schools, public park and nature reserve.

The new district will seek to attract the very best minds, while driving economic growth, improving transport connections, delivering benefits for local people, as well as enhancing the surrounding natural landscape. The site will provide an exemplary new setting for the University’s world-leading science and innovation departments, which will help address key global challenges facing humanity – from food security and biodiversity to climate change and the urgent need to move to a zero-carbon economy.

Jennifer Ball, Associate Director at BECG said:

It’s an incredibly exciting time for partnerships between the real estate industry and sciences. Over the past couple of years we’ve all gained an acute appreciation of the importance of ground-breaking, world-leading research in science, engineering and innovation. Schemes like this one at Begbroke Science Park will help ensure UK universities continue to be world-leading. I’m sure there’s going to be interest from practices all over the world, and we can’t wait to see the shortlist later this year. BECG is thrilled to be supporting the project.

The competition invites submissions from international, UK-based and local teams, encouraging large, established practices to join forces with individuals or emerging practices – to provide new perspectives on how to develop the area to its full potential. The competition is being managed by Colander Associates, who have created a hashtag, #OUDcompetition, for firms to find each other online. The winning team will be expected to offer both gravitas and experience alongside fresh thinking and radical ideas. Aspiring entrants can find more information on the criteria, and are asked to submit Stage 1 submissions by Friday 3 December 2021 through their website here.