Oxford

Oxford University Middle East Centre building opened

Investcorp Building at St Antony's College in Oxford Image copyright Luke Hayes / Zaha Hadid Architects

A new £11m building to accommodate a centre for Middle East studies has been officially opened at Oxford University.

The glass-fronted structure, sandwiched between the Victorian buildings of St Antony's College, was designed by architect Zaha Hadid.

At Tuesday's opening, Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser of Qatar spoke of growing "Muslim-phobia" and the "fear of real, living Muslims" in Europe.

The event was attended by dignitaries, academics and ambassadors.

Image copyright Luke Hayes / Zaha Hadid Architects
Image copyright Luke Hayes / Zaha Hadid Architects

The Investcorp Building occupies college grounds on Woodstock Road.

It doubles the space for the centre's library and archive and includes a 118-seat lecture theatre, freeing up space in the college's existing buildings.

Image copyright Luke Hayes / Zaha Hadid Architects
Image copyright Luke Hayes / Zaha Hadid Architects

Founded in 1957, the Middle East Centre at St Antony's College holds Oxford University's primary collection on the modern Middle East.

It is Oxford's facility for research and teaching on the Arab world, Iran, Israel and Turkey from the 19th century to the present day.

Image copyright Luke Hayes / Zaha Hadid Architects

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