MICA's re-purposing of post-war buildings in city centres
Construction underway on new raised quad for Jesus College Oxford (MICA)
How can the re-purposing of university buildings restore the health of our high streets? MICA's work for the Northgate construction in Oxford, demonstrates just that.
MICA was appointed by Jesus College to create a new mixed-use development on the busy thoroughfare of Cornmarket, comprising ground floor retail with academic facilities and accommodation above. The project is also a catalyst for the improvement of Market Street.
'The new building will forge connections both with openness to its central Oxford location and within the historic College itself. A new route through the adjacent listed building from the existing second quad has been carefully carved out in recent weeks, improving accessibility and connectivity between all College facilities, new and old.
'The concrete frame for the Cornmarket (Oxford's popular shopping street) and Market Street blocks is almost complete, topping out at the second-floor podium deck which will be the base of the unique new raised quad for the College. The dynamic spaces of what will be the new Digital Hub are emerging with the floor slabs of the triple height atrium being formed.'
The mixed-use development is due for completion in 2021 in time to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the historic Oxford College.
CGI of Market Street view towards Cornmarket of Jesus College development (MICA)
MICA has also created new interest at Centre Point in the Tottenham Court Road area of London, where until recently pedestrians might quicken their step to by-pass it to another destination.
The brutalist tower of Centre Point has been re-worked into luxury residences with a plaza at its base replacing a busy bus station, where foodies now flock to Arcade Food Theatre, Tou and Oklava among others. At the edge of the square is the home of The Outernet, an entirely new cultural space for London opening in early 2021. An immersive multimedia experience and retail amphitheatre, it will be home to the world's largest wrap-around screens as well as 250,000 square feet of premium retail and leisure space, including restaurants, studios and live music venues.
'This part of London was never really that successful before now' says Gavin Miller, partner at MICA, despite being a way point to so many other key London locations...by reworking the building (Centre Point) this way, it becomes the opposite - it becomes a hub, a magnet'.