Wadham College, Oxford (Gillespie, Kidd and Coia)

Scope and Content

Job files, images and drawings related to project.

Administrative / Biographical History

HOLYWELL DEVELOPMENT & BLACKWELL'S MUSIC SHOP: The new music shop formed part of a mixed residential & commercial infill for Wadham College. It provided enlarged replacement premises for Blackwell's who had occupied a 3-storey college building adjacent to the development. The building permitted the return to College the upper levels for residential use & confined commercial occupation to the ground & basement floors. GKC's design resulted in a deep horizontal space manipulated on 3 levels, which formed interlocking L-shaped areas cascading from ground level around a mid-level whose central pivotal purpose was emphasized by a large lightwell which penetrated into the college's upper level terrace.

NEW LIBRARY & RESIDENTIAL: In the new library & rooms the use of concrete was fundamental to the design of the building, both in structure and in cladding. A mixture of insitu & precast concrete was used, both cast on site in purpose made framework; the concrete colour was carefully matched to the prevailing Clipham stonework of the existing Jacobean college. Externally, natural stone paving on the deck surfaces & internal stone parapets at existing walls were complemented by modelled & shuttered concrete wall; internally, exposed concrete columns & walls are offset by the carpet, plaster & oak to create an ambience not dissimilar to that of the adjacent older building which featured similar areas of exposed stonework.

The building group consisted of a new library, a double storey courtyard of rooms in the roof & a residential staircase. The library was arranged with 3 similar floors of stack & reading tables around a reading lounge & special study areas which overlook the garden & the old college via a suspended plate glass assembly in the form of a large bay window, reminiscent in the form of the window over the college gateway.


The material has been arranged using original Gillespie Kidd and Coia project reference codes. Although there were 2 phases to this project the files, images and drawings for each phase were not stored separately. Where it is clear that a particular item or file belongs with a particular phase that has been noted.

Access Information

Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections are open for research by appointment.


Catalogued by Tracy Wilkinson, GKC Project Archivist

Conditions Governing Use

Application for permission to quote should be sent to the Glasgow School of Art Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with Glasgow School of Art Archives and Collections standard procedures.

Geographical Names