Mat Davies

Oxford-Saïd Estate Director
Saïd Business School University of Oxford

Mat has responsibility for a team of approximately 160 operational staff, including many of the front facing service functions, along with a professional estates team who maintain the 27,000m2 Saïd Business School estate. Mat has direct responsibility as client representative for major capital projects, and also runs a construction project advisory consultancy.  

Mat joined the Saïd Business School in 2001, opening the iconic £50m Dixon Jones building in the centre of Oxford, which has become the home of business education for the University of Oxford. From 2005-2012, Mat was the client representative in the development and delivery of a £28m (Dixon Jones) extension of the main building, which enabled the expansion of executive education programmes into the city centre site. From 2012-2015, Mat worked alongside the Blavatnik School of Government in a consultancy role to deliver the recently completed £55m Herzog de Meuron building. Mat’s current focus is on the conversion of Oxford’s original power station, a Victorian building dating from 1892, to create a residential learning centre for the Saïd Business School, working with architects John McAslan and Partners.

The principal areas of focus for Mat are: the creation of high performing learning spaces which will enable the buildings to respond to changes in pedagogy and technical delivery through the life of the building; responsible engineering – creating robust sustainable solutions whilst ensuring that buildings remain fit for purpose; delivering architecture and service infrastructure which add value to the learning experience, delivering competitive advantage.



8:50 AM Case Study: The Oxford Foundry: Overcoming Time and Cost Constraints to Create an Innovative Place of Collaboration


This presentation will focus on The Oxford Foundry: The creation of more entrepreneurial people is the foundation of the Oxford Foundry. Opened in October 2017, this exciting new space is for all students at the University of Oxford, no matter what discipline of study; and is designed specifically to support commercial experimentation, innovation and the start-up of new ventures.
  • Project drivers: Creating a space enabling entrepreneurially-minded people to meet, learn, collaborate, create new ventures and experiment
  • The building: Converting a Victorian ice factory into a co-working space, accelerator, presentation area and a café
  • How was this achieved with a tiny budget and incredibly tight timelines: Funding, consultation, design, procurement and delivery