In June this year the Doric Club, the Oxford School of Architecture’s alumni association, celebrated its 90th anniversary. Here we look at its fascinating history…
The birth of the Doric Club
In the 1920s there were no architectural courses in Oxford until a handful of young architectural trainees, practising architects and academics formed the Doric Architectural Club. The club, which started with just three students, gave rise to the Oxford School of Architecture in 1929 at Oxford Brookes’ predecessor institution.
Recognition by RIBA
Previously, in order to qualify as architects, students had to sit their final Royal Institute of British Architecture exams at RIBA’s offices in London. In June 1950 the Oxford School of Architecture’s exams, which included a four-day design exam, conferred professional status for the first time.
Yasmeen Lari ’63 becomes Pakistan’s first woman architect
After graduating from the Oxford School of Architecture, Yasmeen returned to her home country to set up an architectural practice. She subsequently co-founded the UNESCO recognised Heritage Foundation of Pakistan. Yasmeen has also designed innovative post disaster programmes.
Reggie Cave honoured by the King of Norway
Reginald (Reggie) Cave was Head of the Oxford School of Architecture from 1954 to 1976. He was awarded the honour of the Chevalier of the First Degree of St Olav by King Olav V for his “invaluable help and encouragement” to Norwegian students attending the School. The first student from Norway started in 1958 and today the Norwegian Doric Club is thriving.
Bigger and better than ever
The Oxford School of Architecture now has over 800 students and a reputation as one of the UK’s leading architectural schools. Its work includes low carbon building and development and emergency practice, as well as RIBA-accredited architecture courses.
The School of Architecture includes CENDEP (Centre for Development and Emergency Practice). CENDEP students organise the annual Oxford Human Rights Festival and the star guest for the 2017 festival was iconic film director Ken Loach.
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