Project update

What's happening now?

The structure of the building is substantively complete, and work is continuing behind the façade on the internal layout, fit out and services.

We are continuing to see high volumes of heavy plant site traffic at this time, with many contractors on site so please take extra care around the development area.

Progress to date

The Beecroft Building, the Physics Department's first new building in 50 years, is currently under development adjacent to the existing Clarendon laboratory. It will contain state-of-the-art laboratories and will enable new science to take place.

The building project will take two years to complete – an indication of the overall timeline is shown here. The project to date has seen:

  • the archaeological works completed,
  • diversion of mains services (gas, water and helium),
  • the clearing of the site and the demolition of unused safety store 'huts' and the former lodge building,
  • secant piling has been completed around the perimeter of the site,
  • the bulk excavation has been finished,
  • we held the "bottoming out" ceremony on 27 June 2016 to mark the completion of the excavation and the move into the construction phase.
  • construction of the basement areas and floor rafts has been completed
  • construction of the main structure has been completed
  • the construction was “topped out” in February 2017
  • cladding of the building has been completed

For Physics users, the bicycle storage adjacent to the Lindemann laboratory have been closed, and we have lost our old reception area and main entrance! A new, temporary reception has been constructed, and will be in place for the period of the project.

Many of the offices have decanted into purpose fit temporary space in the nearby Robert Hooke building, and thanks to all those impacted by the works for their ongoing patience and understanding.

Car parking

There is no hiding from the fact that we have lost a number of “Hunting” parking spaces around the old turning circle and across the build area generally. Unfortunately, parking is likely to get even tighter as the spaces at the Sherington Road entrance will be lost to form the development perimeter.

Please make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible, as the spaces have been lost permanently, and there will be heavy competition for the remaining spaces close to the Science Area.


On Friday 29 May (2 weeks later than previously communicated), the bike sheds adjacent to the Lindemann laboratory will close permanently. Please ensure that any possessions you have in the cycle sheds are removed before this time, as items removed when the sheds close can only be retained for a short period.

Alternative cycle racks are available nearby opposite the front of the Townsend Laboratory, on Parks Road and on Keble Road. Secure cycle parking options are being explored, and will be updated as soon as available.

Please do not use the railings at the front of the Martin Wood building as cycle racks – clear access is needed to the building, and the entrance will be increasingly busy as the Lindemann doors are permanently closed.

On Parks Road, the cycleway along the front of the development site will be closed once the safety hoardings are erected, to enable machine access to the site. Cyclists should divert onto Parks Road itself for the short length of the frontage.


On Parks Road, the pavement along the front of the development site will be closed once the safety hoardings are erected, to enable machine access to the site. Pedestrians will be diverted onto the grass verge for the short length of the frontage.

Safety and Security

The changes to access and exit points will lead to different pathways for exit in the event of a fire or other emergency. Signage is currently in the process of being updated to reflect the new emergency exit routes, and you should familiarise yourself with where your new exit route might be.
The muster areas in the event of evacuation will be moved to the area in front of New Biochemistry, and a separate communication will be sent to all those affected.

The construction site itself is likely to be extremely busy, and there will be up to 200 contractors on site at any time. Please be aware of the likelihood of increased site traffic, and the coming and going of heavy construction equipment and site materials. Your safety is important, so please use the walkways and pavements.