Kendrew Quadrangle St John’s College



The spatial configuration of St John’s college has acted as a model for institutions throughout the world. The new quadrangle is the northern termination of an extensive and walkable sequence of spaces. A number of smaller courtyard gardens completes the composition. Inspiration has been drawn from the tradition of mediaeval gardens which is evidenced by the historic maps of the city. Historically such gardens performed a number of functions with the use of medicinal plants as a particular distinguishing feature. The herbal or medicinal gardens in addition to their horticultural importance were seen as elegant places in which to linger. Andrew Marvel writing in the 17th century equates the garden to “the mind, that ocean where each kind, does straight it’s own resemblance find”. The new courtyards and gardens are a contemporary response to ideas of healing, contemplation and scholarship.

Client

St John’s College, Oxford

Date

2007 to 2011

Team

MJP, architect / Price & Myers, structural engineer / Northcroft, quantity surveyor