The Promised Land 2.0

When the Oxford College of Technology moved to Headington in 1955, Vice-Principal John Henry Brookes described it as “setting foot in The Promised Land.”

The new campus was purpose-built for a 20th-century education and as the College became Oxford Polytechnic and then Oxford Brookes University, it was central to students’ lives and alumni memories.

Since then Headington Campus has been redeveloped into an ideal site for Oxford Brookes’ world-class teaching and research in the 21st century – The Promised Land 2.0. But not all of the old buildings have gone. Some, such as the Clerici building, have been transformed into ultra-modern spaces yet still retain over half a century of memories. While the old Main Hall has been replaced by the Sir Kenneth Wheare Hall.

Here are a few memories of the Clerici building from the 1960s through to the 2010s.

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“We were so lucky at Oxpoly, so many fantastic bands!”
Lizzy Bradbury

Groundbreaking and genre-defining artists who played the Poly’s Main Hall in the 70s include: David Bowie, Lou Reed, Captain Beefheart, Thin Lizzy and The Eagles.

And here is the Clerici building in 2018 – following extensive redevelopment.

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“The student experience completely changed after they opened Clerici. The classrooms are innovative and it’s perfect for socialising. My friends and I have a special table where we study together on the first floor – not too far away from the Clerici Cafe of course!”
Tina Poletto, studying International Business Management

Photography (top image) by Fisher Studios / BGS Architects

See the new spaces at Headington Campus by booking a campus tour