Goodhart Building for University College, Oxford

Goodhart Building for University College, Oxford

Education, Residential
Proteus HR
Freeland Rees Roberts Architects

The refurbished Goodhart Building for University College, Oxford, shortlisted in the AJ Retrofit Awards, has transitioned into the 21st century with the help of Proteus HR cladding panels.

Whilst the spirit of the original 1960s building is still there, Freeland Rees Roberts Architects updated Goodhart using Proteus cladding for the window pods, top floor extension and roof soffits.

Executed in Rimex stainless steel in a Proteus HR format, the projecting window pods, made from multiple panels, are manufactured from Colourtex Granex in Bronze effect.

The roof soffits, which jut out from the building in a repeating diagonal pattern were again manufactured using the Proteus HR in Colourtex Granex Champagne colour, to complement the Bronze window pods, but allows more light to bounce off the soffits.

The subtle contrast between the Bronze and Champagne preserve the character of the existing building and form part of a colour scheme that keeps the refurbished building sympathetic with the surrounding heritage assets.

Proteus HR’s honeycomb core delivers maximum compression and shear resistance with minimal material requirement. Aside from keeping costs down, this made it the ideal choice for the projecting window pods, roof extension and overhanging soffits because it reduced the load transferred to the main building structure.

The Proteus HR panels specified for the windows were fitted to vertical mullions anchored to the backing wall. This system provided sufficient adjustment to enable the shadow gaps between the multiple panels to achieve millimetre tolerances. This, combined with the exceptional flatness and tight edge radii of each honeycomb panel, created perfectly harmonious sightlines between the eight separate elements that make up each window pod.

Tania Gomez-Duran, Associate at Freeland Rees Roberts Architects, who lead the project to retrofit the Goodhart Building student accommodation, said: “The Proteus HR cladding system provided us with an effective method of retaining the original window aesthetics. The subtle granular surface of the panels complement the sheer smooth glass elements of the window.”

She added: “The combination of projecting window elements and overhanging roofline has the effect of breaking up the façade but maintaining the rhythm of the existing. We felt that this avoided having large plain areas that would clash with the intricate architectural detailing on assets nearby.”

The Goodhart Building has been fully refurbished and extended to provide accommodation for 57 students. Originally opened in 1962 to provide accommodation for undergraduates in the heart of the college, the refurbishment was carried out to improve the buildings energy efficiency and quality. It now uses 40 percent less energy than the original building.

A spokesperson from Oxford University said: “The refurbishment has completely transformed the quality and energy performance of Goodhart, providing University College with a light, bright, comfortable student residence with a significantly reduced carbon footprint. The cladding around the window and roofline retain a spiritual link with the original design.”

The Granex finish involves the controlled bead blasting of sheet and coil stainless steel and other metals with various media to produce a range of matt finishes in different coarseness. The surface finish is more reliably consistent and of a superior quality compared to other methods of creating a granular finish.

Cladanco installed the cladding and the main contractor was Beard Construction.


Photography courtesy of Charles Birchmore Photography


  • Rimex Granex Bronze
  • Rimex Granex Bronze
  • Rimex Granex Bronze