Last week, the College team signed off on the first floor student bedrooms as all the construction and snagging was completed!
During the course of the week, mattresses and other soft furnishings have been arriving at Turl Street, and it won’t be long before they are rehoused at Cohen Quad.
The three images below show a student bedroom from three angles – the cupboard wall, against which the bed will be placed, the desk space with its lighting above and below the shelf, and the cupboards and drawers, which will provide storage and will house a fridge in each room.
Each room is around 16 square metres and is en-suite, with one large window and one small window to provide as much natural light as possible.
The cupboard wall
The desk space
The storage space
Last week saw the completion of the family kitchens at Cohen Quad, which now await the arrival of soft furnishings.
These three kitchens, envisaged by Rector Frances Cairncross, provide a central space on each residential floor where students can gather, cook and eat together, and get to know each other better.
One of the completed family kitchens
The first floor kitchen will be named the “Cairncross Kitchen” at the request of many donors who wished to see Frances honoured at Cohen Quad. The kitchen on the second floor will be named the “McRae Kitchen” in recognition of her husband, Hamish McRae, who played an active role in the life of the College during Frances’s rectorship.
The third floor kitchen is at present unnamed and waiting for a donor who would like to support the style of community and collegiate living that Cohen Quad will offer. If you are interested in sponsoring this family kitchen please call 01865 279662.
Over the last few weeks, Mace (our contractors) have been working to finish specific areas of Cohen Quad ahead of handing the whole site over to us at the end of the calendar year.
Last week, focus was on snagging student bedrooms ahead of moving in furniture and fitting out the three student kitchens.
Two other key pieces of work were to build and install the pigeon holes that will be used by the Cohen Quad residents and to pave the Benson Quad and its amphitheatre steps. Each of these steps will be engraved with the names of donors who gave £7,000 or more during the 700th anniversary year and will provide a wonderful outdoor area adjacent to the café where students can sit out and enjoy a coffee – when it’s not raining of course!
Paving leading into the amphitheatre steps of Benson Quad
The pigeon holes
Eighty-six Exeter students will move into their brand new College accommodation in Cohen Quad in January 2017. The Quad will welcome its first students at the start of Hilary Term.
The original aim was that the 86 students plus staff and fellows would move into Cohen Quad in October 2016, at the start of Michaelmas Term. The site is constrained and the building and construction process very complex, and construction has taken longer than anticipated. Students are therefore currently being housed at Jury’s Inn, a hotel in north Oxford, which provides a supportive environment for them, with College staff on site every day, a common room established for the students, and free bus passes provided to assist with transport. Some students have recently been able to move into accommodation provided by other colleges, nearer to the centre of Oxford.
The Quad photographed by Fran Monks in November
The support of students – their academic and welfare needs – have been the College’s priorities throughout this period. To avoid unnecessary additional disruption, the students will continue to stay in either Jury’s Inn or their alternative student accommodation for the remainder of Michaelmas Term. They will move into their new accommodation at Cohen Quad after the Christmas vacation, for the start of Hilary Term.
In October a group of students visited Cohen Quad, all of whom will move into the accommodation in January. They were impressed with the building and they all remain excited to be living there next term and making use of the exceptional facilities that Cohen Quad offers. In the meantime, we’re providing support for all of our students and work continues on site apace.
Exeter JCR President Harry Williams, who is personally affected by the delays, commented, “Of course I was disappointed to hear that the development would not be completed on time, but I am pleased with the way the college have handled the situation so far.”
Students visiting Cohen Quad in October
This roof top picture, kindly taken by local resident Fran Monks earlier today, reveals Cohen Quad’s auditorium.
The Auditorium (front right of picture) with its distinctive curved roof
Now completely clear of scaffolding, the stone work and Rimex tiling are visible giving a further sense of the beautiful scope and nature of Alison Brooks’ design for Cohen Quad.
Internally, the stone cladding is being completed while ensuring that the wishbone glulam beams remain visible as a stunning feature of the space.
The auditorium, to be known as the FitzHugh Auditorium, will be able to seat 110 people for a lecture or concert and 100 people for a banquet. We’re looking forward to being able to host symposiums, concerts, student performances, gala dinners, and even film nights here and are sure that the students will come up with even more ideas (perhaps the next Burns Night Ceilidh)!
The internal beams of the FitzHugh Auditorium
Architect render of the finished Auditorium
Last Wednesday (14th September) was a big moment at Cohen Quad.
During the day the scaffolding was gradually removed from the front façade on Walton Street, revealing the stunning new roof and the beautifully cleaned stonework. The original character of the building has been retained, as planned, and it was generally agreed by all the onlookers that the new roof with its dormer windows added to the aesthetics of the building.
The building positively glowed in the afternoon sunlight and the muted tones of the roof blended in well with the brickwork of the local housing.
As can just be made out, the front door has been lowered to street level and recessed so that visitors walk under the opening arch before being admitted into the new quadrangle.
Work will begin shortly to tidy up the footpaths and, in the next few weeks, we’ll see the scaffolding come down along Worcester Place.
This week we’ve been excited to see some of the exterior of Cohen Quadrangle! As scaffolding starts to come down the upper floors have been revealed on both Walton Street and Worcester Place.
You can begin to get a sense of the dramatic new roof and dormer windows and how they curve into the brickwork of the original Edwardian building. The chequerboard look of the roof is very clear and striking but remains very muted in colour, as planned.
The views over Jericho are stunning, particularly from the full glass dormer which can be seen in the picture above, just where the scaffolding restarts along Worcester Place.
With clear views over the Blavatnik School of Government and the Radcliffe Observatory Quarter, this dormer window provides a special recess on the top floor in which you can reflect over the dreaming spires.
Work continues apace and it won’t be long before even more of the building will be visible.