Just wanted to publish these photos of Cohen Quadrangle at the end of July 2015.  In one year’s time the building should be complete!

The photos are taken by Friend of the College and professional photographer Fran Monks from her vantage point in Worcester Place.  Fran is taking photos from the same point each week to document the changes happening at Cohen Quadrangle.

You can see from these photos that the building is rising fast and work on the second floor (student bedrooms and family kitchens) is progressing well.

photo 2 20150729 Fran Monks
CQ progress, July 2015
photo 1 20150729 Fran Monks
CQ progress, July 2015

Compare the photos above to these photos taken in March 2015:

photo 2 20150327 Fran Monks
CQ progress, March 2015
photo 1 20150327 Fran Monks
CQ progress, March 2015

Many thanks as always to Fran for her excellent photos.

Twitter: @franmonks

Supporter Stories: Neil and Debra Blair

Neil Blair came up to Exeter to read Jurisprudence in 1986.  He worked hard and was acutely aware from the very start of the privilege of living and working in such a beautiful and historic place.  He feels that, in many ways, being at Exeter launched his professional career and he looks back on his student days with gratitude and affection.

Now a literary agent, Neil’s days are filled with books and writing.  He has spent time over the last few years visiting some of Exeter’s ancient printed books and manuscripts and understanding their varied provenance.  He admits to being amazed that a 30,000-strong collection of rare books could have lain under his feet in the basement of the College Library without his knowledge while he was a student, and he fully supports Exeter’s aims to make these volumes more accessible to all.

Two years ago, Neil and his wife Debra chose to make a donation to support the construction of the climate-controlled archive space and reading room at Cohen Quadrangle.  They believe strongly in opening up access to ancient collections so that students, scholars and visitors alike can learn more about these treasures.  They are excited about what this storage and study area will mean for Exeter’s special collections and archives.

Neil Blair at Cohen Quadrangle.

“I have always been passionate about literature, something which grew throughout my time as a student at Exeter and which is fundamental to my professional life.  So when I learnt about the opportunity to restore Exeter’s most precious books and move them to the best possible storage space on the new quadrangle, I was delighted to help.  I am excited to think that these amazing collections can be preserved for the future and made better available to more people for study and research,” he said.

Neil, Debra and their friends visited Cohen Quad during construction in the summer of 2015 and were the first visitors to enter the basement archive section under construction.  Standing on bare concrete with builders working all around, the group were amazed to think that in eighteen months’ time the first precious books would have a permanent home in this very spot!

Neil and Debra Blair survey the construction of the special collections storage area at Cohen Quad.
Basement plan of Cohen Quad with the rolling stacks for Exeter’s special collections visible at the top left-hand corner of the image.

To learn more about Exeter’s special collections, follow the College’s Librarian’s blog and read our previous post on this site.

Inside a Student Bedroom

The first student bedrooms are starting to take shape!  Cohen Quad’s building team have now begun to construct the individual rooms that our students will occupy.

Cohen Quad will provide accommodation for 90 students (including five bedrooms specially adapted for wheelchair users).  Each room will have a bed, large desk, shelving, storage and plenty of natural light.  The large windowsill doubles up as additional seating space.

All the bedrooms are en suite; click here to read our earlier post about Cohen Quad’s modern bathrooms.

In other news, the first floor slab has now been cast across the site, the second floor slab has been cast by the original façade at the east of the site, and the stair and lift cores are progressing to the third floor on the east wing.  Grey skies cannot dampen our enthusiasm!

More updates soon.

Student bedrooms under construction on the first floor (where you can see the orange supports).
The second floor slab, where student bedrooms are being laid out.
“Inside” a student bedroom; you can see the large window which will flood the room with light and the smaller window to the right, which will provide natural light where the long desk will be.
Student Room Window
Architect’s impression of a student bedroom (you can see Worcester College in the distance).
Student Room
Architect’s impression of a student bedroom.
First Floor
Plan showing the student bedrooms on the first floor.

Sounds of the 70s

A group of eager Exonians from 1970-74 visited Cohen Quad on a sunny Saturday as part of their Grand Gaudy (reunion event) at Exeter College.

The site visit followed introductory talks by Deputy Bursar Gez Wells and Hannah Constantine of Alison Brooks Architects on the vision behind the new campus and an explanation of the current stage of construction.

The group was able to walk around the site, moving from the basement to the ground-floor Learning Commons and up to the newly-laid first floor, where construction of the first student bedroom was under way.

All present enjoyed the opportunity to see the site first-hand and to get a sense of the scale of the building. It must also be said that they tackled their steel-capped boots, high-vis jackets, safety glasses, gloves and hard hats with characteristic Exonian jollity!

We are always delighted to take alumni and Friends of Exeter on hard-hat tours of the site; please email if you would like to know more.

Deputy Bursar Gez Wells describes the vision behind Cohen Quadrangle
Putting on PPE (Note to Oxonians: this is ‘personal protection equipment’, not ‘Politics, Philosophy and Economics’!)
From a vantage point at the side of the site, architect Hannah Constantine explains the current stage of construction
Martin (1972, Physics) and Rosy Smith hear about the Learning Commons, which will be right where they are standing
Andrew Popham (1974, Mathematics) surveying the development of the Learning Commons
The group give us their seal of approval!