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Vote for Britain's best new building: Blavatnik School of Government

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Media captionBlavatnik School of Government, Oxford

The Blavatnik School of Government is one of six UK buildings up for the 2016 Riba Stirling Prize for architecture. A select line-up of judges will decide the winner but the BBC, in partnership with Riba, is inviting you to vote for your favourite. Find out about the other buildings here.


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What is it and where?

Founded in 2010, the Blavatnik School of Government is one of Oxford University's newest departments. Its recently opened building, in the Jericho area of the city, was designed by Herzog & de Meuron and has space for more than 500 students, staff and guests.

How much did it cost?

Confidential but reported construction cost of £30m and total project cost of £55m.

Image copyright Iwan Baan

What was the vision?

Riba says the building "takes the traditional Oxford quad and tears up the rule book" with wide twisting staircases and offset balconies around an internal space or "forum". Herzog & de Meuron says: "The forum cuts through the school as a vertical space connecting all the levels and programmes together. Central to a school of government is the idea of openness, communication and transparency; the central forum takes this principle literally by stitching all levels together."

What have people said about it?

"A century passed - the 20th - in which the University of Oxford did not acquire an interior as magnificent as this." Rowan Moore, Guardian, November 2015

"A gleaming glass wedding cake [and] slick beacon of good governance with a whiff of oligarch bling - perhaps in homage to its funder, Len Blavatnik." Oliver Wainwright, Guardian, July 2016

"It is quite clear that the Oxford skyline is a heritage asset and now a drum full of light is being put into it." David Freud, local businessman, Oxford Times, October 2013

Explore the other buildings on the shortlist

BBC Riba Stirling home page

Find out more about the BBC Riba Stirling Prize partnership

Video by Richard Kenny and Dave O'Neill


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