In 2006 JFA was shortlisted for the competition to design a new Music Room for Corpus Christi College, University of Oxford. We aimed to create a multi-purpose building with a strong internal presence.
Our proposal removed all twentieth-century interventions from the college's medieval walls and situated a new pavilion in the garden. Standing independent of the historic fabric, the proposal made a clear distinction between old and new. We sought to create a building of sculptural beauty - a 'gem' of cut stone.
In creating our "gem" we felt the starting point must be an empathy with the College. We were guided by the forms of the historic fabric - the asymmetrical placing of symmetrical façades, the irregular roof-lines and uniform materiality. There must also be respect for the scale of Corpus Christi: "small and lovely" (Pevsner).