One year on, one year in

On 28 April 2014, a year ago today, we commenced our demolition at Exeter’s Walton Street site.  Wearing a high-vis jacket, safety goggles, protective gloves and a hard hat, Rector Cairncross struck a symbolic (and suitably destructive) first blow.

The informal demolition ceremony was attended by Rector Cairncross, architect Alison Brooks and members of her team, lead benefactor to the project Sir Ronald Cohen, representatives from Mace building contractors, the Bursar and Deputy Bursar, the MCR and JCR Presidents and members of College staff.

Now known as Cohen Quadrangle, the development of the new campus continues apace and we are on track for our Michaelmas 2016 opening.  Rector Trainor spoke earlier this year about the significance of the building to Exeter College, explaining that it “propels us with confidence toward the 21st century ‘collegiate ideal,’ where, for the duration of their degree, students live and study alongside peers and leading academics in top facilities.”

Exeter is enormously grateful to all those who have played their part in taking the project this far.  In another year’s time we should be nearing completion!

Rector Cairncross with Sir Ronald Cohen toasting a successful start to the project – April 2014

Onwards – and most definitely upwards!

We are happy to report that the basement slab for Cohen Quad is now completely formed and that the internal walls of the building are being constructed. Our next step is to complete the laying of the ground floor slab and then to start building upwards so that all four floors are finished by late summer 2015.

These photos were taken yesterday by Hannah Constantine of Alison Brooks Architects. She climbed to the top of the crane in the middle of the site to capture the work going on below.

Photo taken from the centre of the site, looking east towards the main entrance. The concrete box towards the left of the picture is the lift shaft. The rectangular shapes on the platform to the left are the underside of the ground floor slab. See how the ground floor slab at the entrance (where the Porters’ Lodge will be) is already laid. Photo courtesy of Alison Brooks Architects.
Photo taken from the centre of the site, looking west towards the back of Cohen Quad, with Worcester College accommodation and grounds at the back of the picture. The basement area you can see will eventually contain all Exeter’s special collections and archive material. Photo courtesy of Alison Brooks Architects.

Exeter’s Deputy Bursar Gez Wells says “It’s great to be out of the ground and past the stage of encountering surprises that could delay the project. We expect the concrete frame to be fully constructed by the end of August and the building to be weather-proof by October this year.”

More updates to follow!