The H B Allen Centre
Keble, founded in 1870, was the first Oxford college of the modern era. It is now at the forefront of the collegiate University. With support from visionary donors eager to be at the heart of the development of higher education in the 21st century, we are taking another major step forward in anticipation of our 150th anniversary in 2020, by creating the The H B Allen Centre.
The Centre will be established on a site which is at the heart of the University, at the crossroads of the sciences, social sciences and humanities. The vision embraces a major centre for our graduate students, and new facilities to support Keble’s inter-disciplinary Advanced Studies Centre and other research and spin-out activities.
This Keble development will be named in honour of Miss Heather Allen, founder of The H B Allen Charitable Trust. Miss Allen, who died in 2005, was a philanthropist with multiple interests. The Trustees thought it appropriate to make a landmark grant that will stand as a fitting and enduring memorial to her philanthropy. More information about the donation is available here.
The College acquired the site, formerly the Acland private hospital, from the Nuffield Hospital Trust in December 2004 for £10.75m, the purchase being funded entirely from its own resources. The strategic importance of the site cannot be over-estimated. Occupying 0.68 hectares, it is located only 300 metres to the north of the existing College. Immediately to the west is the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter (ROQ), a 4 hectare site that is being developed to become the heart of the University, including the Mathematical Institute, the Blavatnik School of Government, the Faculty of Philosophy, the University’s Humanities Divisional Office and the new Jericho Health Centre. Immediately to the east is the Science Triangle, the home of engineering science, computer science, and materials science.
Here a building scheme has been designed by award-winning architect the late Rick Mather which will be one of the most exciting and significant new Oxford building projects of this century.
Since the announcement of the £25million donation from the H B Allen Charitable Trust, plans to complete the new development by October 2018 have been rapidly taking shape. The main contractor, BAM, has provided a fascinating two minute animated model of the demolition and construction process (available here). The excavation of the basement across the whole site and in particular under the listed Acland House is remarkable.