Wadham College

Rising up through the stone, a garden of the senses deftly mediates 300 years of architectural history. 

Working with Wadham College and Amanda Levette Architects our work provided a seamless  integration of contemporary undergraduate facility with the historic Hollywell Music Rooms and Chapel. We retained and worked around the significant trees including a very large Tree of Heaven and Tulip Tree located in each of the quads.


The Back Quad was returned to lawns, with its classical form and new paths link the gardens and frame the retained Tree of Heaven, giving way to a beautifully carved stone steps that provide access to Wadham Library on the level above.

We designed the new Bruce Naylor Garden in Webb Quad which was planted out by Andrew Little Head gardener at Wadham in 2021. This garden celebrates the Italian references of earlier work of MJPs residential Bowra Building and includes a careful incision to establish new steps from Roger Penrose’s tiled terrace, based on five-fold symmetry.

Niches of Mediterranean planting reflect the style of the Bowra Building and provide drought tolerant plantings for climate change resilience and a rich collection of plants to enjoy from the bar and seating walls that frame the garden.

New stone paths give way to gravel then ground cover planting reflecting the rhythmic banding  of AL_A dynamic façade. Sweeping around the curved form of the Holywell Music Room and then flanking new William Doo Undergraduate Centre are richly planted perennial gardens. The stone paths cut and curved in response to each building and contrasting with the textured ground cover.