Opened in 2017 by Tim Cook CEO of Apple Inc The Foundry is an entrepreneurial hub that has been created to embrace students across all academic disciplines from engineering, medicine, history, philosophy and more. It is a place for students from different backgrounds to experiment, learn from one another, and generate ideas and initiatives that address business and societal issues: whether their ambition is to launch their own start-up or to develop an entrepreneurial mind-set to drive innovation from within an organisation.
The building is a former Victorian ice factory and in later years a nightclub and Crown were invited to submit a competitive design and build solution for the extensive refurbishment and fit out. We created a ground floor space which features co-working and multi-function auditorium and social areas for all students of Oxford University to collaborate. The vision is to build a new generation of ventures that better society and to nurture leaders that put people and the planet first.
The upper floor has been designed and fitted out as an accelerator space where a select number of start-ups can focus on growth and attract funding. So far the ventures are valued at over £140m, 150 jobs have been created and over 340m in investment has been raised in the UK, Europe and in the US. It has been a success on all fronts and a project that we are extremely proud of.
The refurbishment project was designed and built in a challenging 12-week period over the summer and met the deadline for opening at the beginning of the new academic year. Work included the complete strip out of the internal finishes and the exposure of many original features such as glazed brickwork and Crittal windows and also included the recovering of the roof finishes and new structures for supporting plant. The soul of the building has been re-discovered through the design and build process in a very successful collaboration of client, consultants and contractors and was recognised in the Oxford Property (OXProp) awards as the Winner of The Most Enterprising and Innovative Workplace Environment Award.
What we love; This building could change the world and save the planet!
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