New Fora for Oxford 20-24 Queen Street
Engineered to maximise productivity and wellbeing, Fora unites flexible, consciously designed spaces and premium amenities to deliver truly tailored workspaces for forward thinking businesses. Addressing the significant shortfall of office space in Oxford’s city centre, our plans will see this neglected, empty building beautifully reimagined through intricate design and innovation. We plan to transform 20-24 Queen St in Oxford’s beautiful historic city centre.
Read our plans for the space and share your thoughts below
Fora unites flexible, consciously designed spaces; premium amenities; a curated programme of events; and a 360-degree wellness offering. The Fora experience is engineered to maximise productivity and wellbeing – for people and businesses of all sizes. Fora offers inclusive, short and long-term leases from single owned desks, to fully services offices.
Designed to nurture productivity and collaboration, we ensure the Fora experience extends beyond our buildings. Hosts to a series of events, we partner with progressive leaders to inspire and encourage individuals, open to both Residents and the local community.
For those who understand that the workplace is not a commodity but a place for forward thinking businesses to thrive.
20-24 Queen Street
The three storey building is located on the corner of Queen Street and St Ebbe’s Street. Sitting in poor condition, the building is currently not making a positive contribution to Oxford’s city centre - we would like to change that:
- Its ground floor frontage along St Ebbe’s Street is largely blank, fragmented and unattractive.
- The building has limited activation on St. Ebbe’s Street and the public realm is poor.
- Unsightly, extensive existing air conditioning and other plant is visible in high-level Oxford skyline views.
- The building’s monolithic glazed rooflight is clearly visible from Carfax Tower and east of the city.
- Low quality roof finishes are visible in high-level Oxford skyline views.
- The building is in poor condition with leaking roofs and large areas uninsulated.
- It is an underutilised prime city centre site.
- Designed as an inflexible department store, each floor is very deep and the building is currently unusable as office accommodation.
- Long-term empty first floor and partially empty second floor. Much of the first floor does not benefit from natural daylight.
- The building has previously suffered from fragmented ownership.
Our primary objective is to address the significant shortfall of office space in Oxford’s city centre, and reimagine the space though intricate design and innovation, making a significant and positive contribution to the historic centre.
Our plans for 20-24 Queen Street:
- Retain ground floor and basement retail with three upper floors of flexible workspace, including additional floorspace at level four and a roof terrace.
- The building would offer premium flexible workspace for up to 620 people.
- A remodelling of the interior of the building which includes creating an internal light-well to encourage natural light to each floor.
- New entrances on Queen Street and St Ebbe’s Street to create active frontages.
- A sensitive refurbishment and improvement to the building’s external facades.
- Significant improvements to the public realm along St Ebbe’s Street and Queen St including widening pavements, landscaping and improved cycle routes.
- To significantly enhance the building’s energy efficiency.
Our plans for 20-24 Queen Street will be provide a number of public benefits:
Reuse, refurbish and enhance
Reuse, refurbishment and enhancement of a vacant and underutilised building in a prime location in the city centre;
Consciously designed, modern, flexible workspace
Providing exemplary modern, flexible workspace, greatly in need within Oxford and its city centre – in a highly sustainable and accessible location;
Enhanced ground floor frontages
Enhanced ground floor frontages to Queen Street and St Ebbe’s Street, enhancing the character and appearance of the Conservation Area;
Increased activity on both Queen Street and St Ebbe’s Street, increasing the footfall, flow and movement of people and introducing a new population to this key part of the city centre;
Supporting Oxford’s city centre
Supporting and enhancing existing retail and town centre users through adding vibrancy and an increase footfall to this part of the city centre;
Sustainable and energy efficient
Delivering a sustainable and energy efficient development. Significantly reducing the site’s carbon emissions and embodied carbon, principally secured through retaining and enhancing the existing building;
Diversifying the city centre
Diversifying the city centre’s offering to contribute to a more dynamic mix of uses, for multiple types of users to meet the various needs and requirements of those accessing and wanting access to the city centre;
Various strands of job creation including through the workspace provision itself, plus all supporting jobs required to enable successful operation of the building. Job creation to those operating within the retail units. Prior to occupation, jobs are created through all demolition and construction related activities associated with the project;
Supports small businesses and start-ups
Supports and retains small businesses and start-ups in the heart of the city and provides opportunities for collaboration through an innovative workspace environment - an intentional consequence of the workspace model proposed.
Provision of off-site cycle parking relieving pressure on existing cycle parking spaces in the nearby city centre. Additional secure on-street public cycle parking to support local cycle connection routes along Queen Street and St Ebbe’s Street.
Biodiversity and urban greening
Increased biodiversity and urban greening through new planting and landscaping strategies;
Public realm improvements
Public realm improvements to St Ebbe’s Street, enhancing the quality of the environment in the immediate setting of the site and wider setting, in the city centre and conservation area.