Maths Institute, Oxford
Oxford University’s new Mathematical Institute facility, the Andrew Wiles Building, was officially opened in October 2013. The dedicated building is at the centre of the department’s and its students’ academic life. The building’s design and the stunning Penrose paving, by Rafael Viñoly Architects, is architecturally sympathetic to the Oxford skyline. Named after one of Oxford’s most celebrated mathematicians – Professor Sir Andrew Wiles. The building reflects further mathematical influences in its architecture and as you enter you are confronted with a pattern of beauty and intrigue.
Designed by Sir Roger Penrose, Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics, and expanding on his discovery of almost thirty years ago, the Penrose paving is constructed from just two different diamond-shaped granite tiles, each adorned identically with stainless steel circular arcs. There are various ways of covering the infinite plane with them, matching the arcs. But every such pattern is non-repetitive and contains infinitely many exact copies of what you see before you.
Installed by Vetter UK, a subsidiary of Laing O’ Rourke, Hardscape supplied Royal White and Kobra grey Artscape granite paving with polished 30mm s/steel inserts. Other paved areas, designed by Townshend landscape architects; European Amarelo Reale and Roriz granite setts, kerbs and edgings with West Pennine sandstone paving, cladding and copings and Neland Siena and Nero WF clay pavers to this prestigious and ingenious scheme; one of several that Hardscape have had the honour of working on within the Oxford University grounds.
Architects: Rafael Viñoly (Building and Penrose paving); Townshend landscape architects (remaining paved areas).
Contractor: Installed by Vetter UK, a subsidiary of Laing O’ Rourke.