Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre designed by Hopkins Architect

Laing O’Rourke bags £170m Oxford University humanities job

Phil Puccio




The project is one of the largest single building projects ever undertaken by the University and lifts the firm’s tally of projects with the instituion to 12 since 2003.

The planned building will largely be funded with a £150m donation from Stephen Schwarzman, founder of The Blackstone Group private equity firm.

When completed in Spring 2025, the project will bring nine faculties and institutes and seven libraries and collections into one home.

Central great hall 

The Laing O’Rourke team, led by Steve Holland, who most recently oversaw delivery of the Oxford Biochemistry Completion project, will begin construction in Autumn 2022.

Performance and public engagement space forms a key element of the project, with a 500-seat concert hall designed with world-leading acoustic capability, a 250-seat theatre and a film screening area.

Holland said: “Our plan ensures teaching and learning continues, soft lands construction delivery with neighbouring buildings and maintains public access and engagement throughout.

“We are privileged to be appointed to complete the heart of the ROQ in Oxford.

“The building will be delivered to Passivhaus energy performance standards, utilising our blend of offsite manufacturing capability and direct delivery to enable the certainty required.”

Laing O’Rourke’s 12 University of Oxford projects


  1. Department of Chemistry, 2003
  2. Department of Biochemistry, Phase 1, 2008
  3. Department of Earth Sciences, 2010
  4. Sommerville College, 2011
  5. Radcliffe Infirmary, 2012
  6. Andrew Wiles Building – Mathematical Institute, 2013
  7. Blavatnik School of Government, 2015
  8. St Luke’s Chapel, 2016
  9. Radcliffe Primary Care Building, 2016
  10. Beecroft Building for Physics, 2018
  11. Department of Biochemistry, Phase 2, 2020






Aaron Morby

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