Contemporary Transformation of Oxford University

The University of Oxford recently revealed its new state-of-the-art science facility, just in time for students returning for the Winter school semester. The brand new $85million Beecroft Building is the new home to the university’s Department of Physics, able to accommodate 200 theoretical and experimental physicists in its facility.

UK based architectural firm, Hawkins\Brown brought this ambitious project to life, aiming to help the university become “one of the most advanced physics departments in the world”. The contemporary ten-story building features five floors of modern offices in the spaces above ground and five floors of ultramodern laboratories below ground. This makes the Beecroft the deepest building on the Oxford campus.

The building takes advantage of the unusual open ceiling height to allow for natural light to flood in from all around the above-ground floors. The design incorporates minimal technical lighting, allowing the contemporary architectural feature lighting to take centre stage. UK based firm, 299 Lighting, selected with VISO to provide the lighting to the Beecroft project. Working with the natural colour scheme of the atrium, they chose the VISO Fort Knox pendants to further enhance the space.

The copper finish complements the space by highlighting the existing wood finishes in the architectural staircase and wall panels. The copper finish shimmers in daylight to add drama and subtle glamour to the design scheme. Installed in random clusters, the Fort Knox mirrored pendants were supplied with a custom 20m suspension kit and additionally secured with a support wire. The Fort Knox fixtures are highlighted throughout the building, suspended down into the 16-metre basement of the building. The project had an incredible 48-week fit-out schedule and was completed in time for the handover on the 19th of March 2018.

The Fort Knox mirrored pendant is one of VISO’s most beloved designs and is part of the VISO original Brand Collection dating back to the year 2002. The high-quality polycarbonate globe is finished with both a metalized interior and exterior to reflect both the light source from within and the fixture’s entire surroundings. As in the case for Oxford University, the Fort Knox can be customized with both different canopies and custom drops. The fixture is available in three sizes, SM, MM and GM, and four unique metalized finishes, including gold, copper, silver and smoke. The bold design of this light allows it to create drama and draw attention to its design whether it is suspended as a solo fixture or in a reflective cluster.


VISO is a global multidisciplinary design and manufacturing firm specializing in unique decorative light fixtures focusing on Architecture & Design with offices and facilities in Canada, Portugal, and Dubai. The company serves the hospitality, commercial, infrastructure, and residential sectors and offers an exclusive brand collection as well as custom designs, rendering services and project consultation.

Led by founder and Head Designer Filipe Lisboa and Managing Partner, Tzetzy Naydenova, the couple have bound their efforts in design, production, management and marketing to build a strong, reputable and unique fashion forward lighting company.

Proudly Canadian, VISO’s headquarter is located in downtown Toronto.  The company designs, manufactures, assembles and inspects all fixtures and custom lighting in its state-of-the-art production facilities.

See more of VISO’s custom lighting projects here.

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