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Museum of Oxford

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Client: Museum of Oxford
Project: Refurbishment
Date of completion: September 2021
Value: £2.8m


ODS carried out the redevelopment of this Grade II* listed Victorian building, creating an award-winning museum and heritage events space in the centre of Oxford.

The Museum is located within Oxford Town Hall in the City Centre which presented ODS with extra challenges. All works were carried out whilst being sensitive to the crucial day to day operations of the live site. Our experienced team understands the critical requirement for access to operational buildings, and put phasing plans and methods in place to ensure minimal disruption to building users and members of the public.


Phase one of this project saw us strip back the space to make way for the development work, removing the 1970s intrusive building work, enabling the restoration of the Victorian grandeur. Works involved removing a dividing wall and stripping out set dressing that covered the original walls and windows.

Phase two of the redevelopment created two larger galleries, a education/learning space, Museum Makers community space in the basement, and restored the original windows and wall dressing. ODS also created new, accessible galleries, learning spaces and a welcome area and gift shop. The previously inaccessible basement is now accessible to wheel chair users.

The redevelopment tripled the size of the museum space allowing the Museum to increase the number of objects on display from 286 to around 750. ODS used our team of experienced trades people and specialist materials suppliers to ensure the building kept its historic character. Returning a little used space back to full life whilst still reflecting the building rich, unique and historic characteristics bringing the history of Oxford back to life.

Social Value

ODS partnered with local social enterprise RAW who used their specialist skills in reclaiming and recycling wood for the project to ensure maximum social value and environmental benefit to the community. RAW used waste wood from the project to manufacture and sell indoor and outdoor furniture.