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Former Blackwells Music Shop and attached buildings for Wadham College to rear

A Grade II Listed Building in Oxford, Oxfordshire

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Latitude: 51.7552 / 51°45'18"N

Longitude: -1.254 / 1°15'14"W

OS Eastings: 451592

OS Northings: 206543

OS Grid: SP515065

Mapcode National: GBR 8YY.V3C

Mapcode Global: VHCXV.64YS

Plus Code: 9C3WQP4W+3C

Entry Name: Former Blackwells Music Shop and attached buildings for Wadham College to rear

Listing Date: 4 December 2000

Grade: II

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1246930

English Heritage Legacy ID: 486895

Location: Holywell, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX1

County: Oxfordshire

District: Oxford

Electoral Ward/Division: Holywell

Parish: Non Civil Parish

Built-Up Area: Oxford

Traditional County: Oxfordshire

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Oxfordshire

Church of England Parish: Oxford St Mary the Virgin with St Cross with St Peter-in-the-East,

Church of England Diocese: Oxford

Tagged with: Architectural structure

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38, Former Blackwells Music Shop and attached buildings for Wadham College to rear


College buildings and bookshop. 1969-70 by Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan of Gillespie, Kidd and Coia for Wadham College. Reinforced concrete, with lead-clad timber to Holywell Court at rear. Concrete tiled roofs to front.Complex plan.

Ground-floor and basement shop facing Holywell Street, with two storeys of student accommodation on upper floors behind. The deep plan of the rebuilt shop forms a terrace in the College gardens, with lightwells giving natural light down into the basement of the bookshop, and lighting a sunken courtyard, Fellows' Court, set behind the rear of the King's Arms (already listed).

Free vernacular-inspired design. Long strip clerestory window with side-opening casements. Two-stage roof to front, the lower ridge incorporating irregularly-placed rooflights. Timber windows to upper storeys. Ground floor set below deep, fluted concrete lintel, with concrete panels flanking floor to ceiling shop window with tinted glass, which incorporates a light-well to basement and a steel grill for security. Another lightwell to the rear of the shop gives more natural light to basement and forms a strong visual feature. Light black steel windows, and doors into stone-paved courtyard. The rear elevation is rendered and is Georgian in character. Behind the shop is a flat slab forming a terrace within the grounds of Wadham College, which overlooks this lightwell, and to the side an enclosed set of accommodation, called Holywell Court. The rooms give on to a central sunken courtyard, with stone paving, and have elevations lined in lead with heavy metal window sections and repeated clerestory strip. Holywell Court has Douglas fir boarded ceilings, and varnished oak doors internally. Oak bookshelves, designed by the architects, line the walls of the bookshop, which also features some York stone paving.

Blackwell's Music Shop was opened on 9 November 1970 by Sir Adrian Boult. Gillespie, Kidd and Coia were consultant architects to Wadham College, who owned the site, and this is the most public element of their extensive works for the college. The building has wit and imagination in responding to a tight site of international historic importance. The result is a notable landmark to Holywell Street, with a compact and elegant terrace and courtyards to the rear, and a distinctive and unusual building from this remarkable practice. `It fits in while having a real personality of its own' (Architects' Journal, 17 January 1973, p.151)

Oxford City Council Building Control Records
Architectural Review, October 1971, pp.206-16
Information from Isi Metzstein and Andy MacMillan
Architects' Journal, 17 January 1973, p.151

Listing NGR: SP5159206552

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