Rhodes House, Oxford

Date Complete 2023
Location UK England
Client Rhodes Trust
Architect Stanton Williams

Project summary

Rhodes House is a Grade II listed building situated in the heart of Oxford, and forms part of the University of Oxford.

Sandy Brown was appointed to assist with the creation of a state-of-the-art 280-seat conferencing venue equipped with world class AV systems, and a contemporary glazed garden pavilion designed for meetings, seminars and gatherings, accommodating up to 50 guests.

The development also included the addition of 16 guest rooms within a modern residential courtyard, and a comprehensive reconfiguration of the basement to feature a conference foyer, informal meeting areas, cellular meeting rooms and a spacious open plan office.

Refurbishment works focused on restoring the grand dining hall, a library, meeting rooms, existing guest rooms, and the conversion of cellular offices into guest bedrooms.

Detailed design

Sandy Brown worked closely with Stanton Williams Architects to ensure the quality of their designs was maintained throughout the entire project.

Among the main acoustic considerations for the scheme were:

  • Control of noise ingress from external sources
  • Sound insulation between internal spaces
  • Control of reverberation and noise build-up in conference spaces, meeting rooms, foyers and open plan offices

Preservation of the building’s historic features required a detailed approach to the acoustic design for conservation purposes.

The acoustic response of the conference room and pavilion were modelled using ODEON software. The conference hall boasts a bespoke acoustically absorptive ceiling system, lateral diffusers and ceiling reflectors to ensure excellent room acoustics suitable for the varying uses of these spaces.

Acoustic auralisations were crucial for the design of the glazed pavilion to ensure the presence of flutter echoes was suitably controlled and to allow the client to have a hands-on approach to setting the project design criteria and objectives.