Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory

Physical and Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory - (1 of 1)

The entrance is stepped - there is a portable ramp available on request. Please contact the department in advance if you need ramped access so that they can keep the route clear of parked cars. There are two goods lifts with very heavy manual sliding doors. Both lifts are small and may be unsuitable for many wheelchair users. There is one wheelchair accessible toilet. There is a portable induction loop available on request. 

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This table contains summary information about the building

On-site designated parking for Blue Badge holders Yes - 1 space
Public designated parking for Blue Badge holders within 200m Yes
Other nearby parking Yes - Pay and display
Main entrance Not level. Manual door. Portable ramp available on request
Alternative entrance Yes - very steep ramp
Wheelchair accessible toilets Yes - 1
Lift Yes - very small goods lift only
Hearing support systems Yes - portable ramp
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There are bookable parking spaces outside the front of the building.  To book one of these, please contact reception in advance on or 01865 275400. In addition there is a Blue Badge parking space available on request at the Inorganic Chemistry Lab (Reception for the building can be contacted on 01865 272600). Advanced notice is required when booking this space.

The nearest public Blue Badge parking is on Mansfield Road and Jowett Walk. Oxford City Council have produced a useful Accessible Oxford Guide which includes a map of Blue Badge parking spaces in the city centre. The Blue Badge parking map is on page 11. Please click on the link below to view the Accessible Oxford Guide.


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The main entrance is accessed by two shallow steps with no handrail, but a temporary ramp provides level access. 24 hours' notice must be given as car parking needs to sectioned off to fit a ramp.

Entrance to the building is through two large double doors with no vision panels. There is swipe-card entry on the left hand side for department members and a doorbell on the right for visitors.

Level access to the workshop in the basement of the building (and to the secondary lift), is via the loading bay. Exit the building and go around to your right. Go down the side of the building and then turn right again.  On your right-hand side will be a very steep concrete ramp.  At the end of this ramp are the double doors to the goods area. These are operated by swipe card only, but there is an intercom to contact a member of the facilities team during opening hours. Once again, this ramp is incredibly steep, so please take care (especially when going back up).

Truthfully if you are mobility impaired and need to get into this building you will most likely need to be assisted to get in and once inside too.


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Reception is on the right hand side as you enter the building. There is no hearing loop or reduced height section.  


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Accessible toilets

There is one accessible toilet on the ground floor.  Take the corridor at the back right of the foyer and go through the doors leading to Theoretical Chemistry. The accessible toilet is then in this area, near to the stairs and lift. 

Standard Toilets

On the ground floor, there are Men’s toilets on the left of the entrance lobby, and Women’s on the right.  There are also toilets at the far end of the Theoretical Chemistry area (past the stairs and seminar room).

On the first floor, there are toilets down the corridor from the write-up space in Physical Chemistry, towards the far end of the building.  This is also the case on the second and third floors.

On the second floor, an additional toilet can be found near the main staircase.  There are no gender-neutral bathroom facilities in the building.


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There are two lifts in the building which are not for general use, but can be used by some people who require level access.  They are the original goods lifts and are not pleasant to travel in. 

Both lifts are likely to be too tight for many wheelchair users, and the heavy doors and grilles make them unsuitable for independent use by most mobility impaired people, hence why assisted travel through the building will be standard for most.

To reach the main lift, take the corridor leading from the upper right of the main foyer, and follow it ‘round until you reach the double doors to Theoretical Chemistry. Once through these doors, the lift will be on the right hand side on the far side of the room. The lift has a heavy sliding metal door and grille, and is very small, so please reverse in.  The second lift is up the steps to the left hand side of reception.  It can also be accessed using the back entrance to the building (please see the ‘Entrances’ section for more information). Once you have come in through the back entrance, turn right and then right again to reach the main corridor. The lift will be at the end on your left hand side.  Specification is the same as the main lift, so the same cautions apply.


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There are multiple staircases in the building. The main building stairs have a partial handrail on both sides, and contrasting nosings. The staircase in Theoretical Chemistry has a continuous handrail on the right hand side (ascending), a partial handrail on the left, and contrasting tactile nosings. The stairs up to the common room have a handrail on the left hand side (ascending) and contrasting tactile nosings. The stairs leading to the teaching lab and computer suite have no nosings, but there is a continuous handrail on the left hand side (ascending). 


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The doors to the Theoretical Chemistry section of the building are double doors with large glass panels. This is true of most of those doors in the corridors which are not on hold-open mechanisms and sprung to close. Level access to the lecture theatre is via two sets of heavy fire doors which can only be opened from the inside. Most laboratory doors are solid, and the double doors to the common room have a vision panel in the top half only. 

Some visitors may require assistance; some doors are very heavy or have narrow leaves requiring both to be opened to accommodate a wheelchair. 


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The lecture theatre is located on a mezzanine off the first floor and therefore only reached via steps. If you require level access to the lecture theatre, you can only reach the rear and the journey there cannot be done independently.

You will need to be escorted and liaise with building staff, as the doors only open from the inside.  Take the main lift to the second floor, and exit using the fire doors straight in front of you. Go across the outside walkway and through the second set of fire doors. Both of these doors have a slight lip (soon to be ramped).

Once inside the lecture theatre, the only portion which is accessible is the space right at the top- it is a landing stage/platform. The balustrade here may mean a restricted view. If you are comfortable with stairs, you will be able to access the rest of the lecture theatre, otherwise the front of the theatre cannot be reached. 

The stairs to the other seating have contrasting nosings but no handrail. There is a portable hearing loop available, please see the ‘Hearing Support System’ section for more information. 


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The Rowlinson Room is a seminar room on the first floor. Unfortunately, this is inaccessible for people requiring level access.

On the ground floor, there is a seminar room in the Theoretical Chemistry portion of the building. Exit the lift and take the corridor on your right hand side. The seminar room will then be on your left. This is a large room with moveable furniture, although space might be a bit tight around the edges.

Table height is just about OK for people in manual wheelchairs, and there is a whiteboard available. 


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The common room is on a mezzanine off the second floor, above the lecture theatre.  This is only accessible by steps, so it's inaccessible for people requiring level access.  The common room can be accessed via the staircase near the main lift.  There are a number of tables with moveable chairs in the common room, and hot drinks are served between 10.45-11.15, 12.45-13.45, and 15.45-16.15 during weekdays.


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There is a portable loop available for use in the lecture theatre.  If you think you may need it, it would be appreciated if you would contact the Facilities Manager in advance on

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Contact details

Physical & Theoretical Chemistry Laboratory
South Parks Road
01865 275400

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