Obsolete Oxford labs once used by Dorothy Hodgkin may become student bar

Oxford University aerial view

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Oldest part of Oxford’s Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory is too antiquated to bring up to modern standards

The University of Oxford has lodged plans to convert a historic chemistry laboratory into a student bar and music lounge. The 150-year-old west wing of Oxford’s Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory (ICL) hasn’t been used for experimental work since 2018, but will get a new lease of life if plans to create new social space for students of the adjacent Reuben College are approved.

The building was once used by Dorothy Hodgkin, who won the 1964 chemistry Nobel prize for her x-ray studies on the structures of important biomolecules. However, according to notes submitted with the planning application ‘the building is unable to accommodate the extensive alterations needed to maintain its laboratory use in the 21st century’.