Sir Geoffrey Arthur Building Redevelopment Project gets underway


We are delighted to announce that a project to rejuvenate the College’s Annexe, the Geoffrey Arthur Building (known as the GAB), commenced on site last week having received planning approval earlier this year.

The scheme will see an under-utilised communal building demolished and a new accommodation block built in its place containing 77 ensuite bedrooms for graduate students (including four accessible rooms), four studio flats for couples, a secure bike store, a common room, and ancillary facilities. A separate building will be added on the riverfront, housing four studio flats for junior academics. Following a short delay to the start date due to Covid-19, the Project is now underway and is due for completion in Summer 2022.

The redevelopment is a response to the College’s strategic aim of providing more housing for its graduate students, and better support for early career academics. Currently, we are able to accommodate all undergraduate students for three years in College-owned accommodation, but sadly only around 25% of our graduate students. The new accommodation will mean that Pembroke can house around 60% of our graduate students, and will have a brand new facility to accommodate junior academics who are new to Oxford.

As well as helping to address this accommodation shortfall, the project will transform the existing site, improving security, communal facilities and the landscaping around the buildings. The planned improvements to the public realm have been particularly well received by the local community during a number of consultations which have taken place during the planning process.

The £14m Project has been majority-funded by financing secured earlier this year on very favourable terms. Donations of £2m are being sought to allow us to maximise its potential to support our graduates and early-career academics.

Project Director and Home Bursar, Mike Naworynsky comments: “Pembroke is delighted to have the opportunity to enhance our accommodation offering for graduate students and early career academics by sensitively re-developing our existing facilities. The College seeks to be an ambitious academic community which will be very much strengthened by the provision of this additional space for members to live and work alongside each other.”

Sir Ernest Ryder, Master of Pembroke College, said: “Despite the ongoing challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, Pembroke is committed to delivering our strategic aims, including making provision for our graduate students and academics. This project is a great example of how we are continuing to look to the future and to work our assets hard to ensure our College is one of choice for top academic talent. We look forward very much to being able to welcome more of our community into residence at the GAB.”

The project is being delivered by Beard construction, and the architects are MICA.

Updates on the current status of the works will be made available weekly to College members on the intranet.