University receives planning permission for the new Humanities building

The unanimous approval from the City Councillors allows the University to start construction on the Centre later this year ahead of its opening in 2025.

The Centre will boost teaching and research in the humanities at Oxford University and provide them with a new home which brings together seven faculties, the Institute for Ethics in AI, the Oxford Internet Institute, and a new library. It will also house a full suite of high-quality exhibition and performance spaces, allowing public audiences to engage more deeply with the University.

The Centre will be a model for the essential role of the humanities in helping the world to confront some of the most pressing questions and challenges it faces today. The Centre has been made possible by a £150 million gift to the University in 2019 from Stephen A. Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Blackstone, one of the world's leading investment firms.

Professor William Whyte, Senior Responsible Owner for the project at the University of Oxford, said: ‘It is thanks to the hundreds of conversations with scores of people across the city over the last two years that we’ve been able to create such an inspirational design for a building which will be a pioneering example of sustainability in architecture. Construction work on the site will begin in earnest in October and we cannot wait to welcome the public into the Centre when it opens in 2025. The Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities will transform the work of our scholars by providing a new home for research and teaching in Oxford Humanities.’

The timeline for construction will be as follows:

  • April to September 2022: Enabling works will begin on the site.
  • May-June 2022: A new website will be launched with information on progress on the site, and the first newsletter will be sent out.
  • October 2022: Construction will begin on the site in earnest. Hoardings will be erected around perimeter offering viewpoints for people to see what is happening.
  • 2025: The building will open.

Oxford residents and other interested parties are invited to sign up to a termly newsletter with updates on the construction process and other public events organised under the banner of the Centre by emailing