The Balliol gates are part of an extensive remodelling of the porters lodge at this prestigious Oxford college. Our brief from architects Penwarden Hale, was for a forward thinking design that complimented this unique heritage setting.
The gates combine age old iron working techniques with a contemporary design of overlapping clover leaves. The leaf motifs that we developed were inspired by the the carved stonework designs of the original architect, Alfred Waterhouse. Drawings of which were found in the college archive.
The gates took many months to make and the design features a rich language of forged joinery. The different components are hot riveted and fixed together using ancient blacksmithing methods, ensuring the gates speak strongly of the hands that have made them.
One of the particular challenges within this project was the seamless integration of modern access systems into a hand forged gate. The access system features Dormer hydraulic closers, Salto card readers and digital locks. All of these help ensure the college porters have greater control on access to the college.
As with much of our work the gates are forged from steel and have been hot zinc sprayed and painted. Oxford 2020