The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre, Worcester College, Oxford

Níall McLaughlin Architects contacted us when no other blind companies were able to solve the issues presented by the design of the pair of windows either side of the stage in the Tuanku Bainun Auditorium in The Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre at Worcester College, Oxford. The sloping heads of the windows, plus their sheer size, and the requirement for darkness to allow projections led to the development of a new blinds system by Grand Design Blinds. Duette 64mm blackout pleated fabric was used, in combination with powerful remote-control 240v electric motors, to accommodate the 4.5m height – the blinds retract smoothly and silently into custom-made recesses designed into the ceiling structure to ensure the clean lines and precise detailing of the architecture of the building is not compromised.

The building was shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize 2018 – in a statement, the Provost of Worcester College, Sir Jonathan Bate, said: ‘Thanks to the vision of Níall McLaughlin Architects and the immense skill of our contractors, we have a breathtakingly beautiful venue for lectures and conferences that benefits our students and visitors alike’. The building has received an award from the Oxford Preservation Trust in its New Buildings category and has also been shortlisted for a British Construction Industry Award (BCIA) for Social Infrastructure Projects of the Year.

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