Imagination Versus Reality

In the early days of our Walton Street project, many of us found it hard to actually imagine a whole new campus forming part of the College footprint. It sounded so vast and so exciting: unprecedented and therefore intangible expansion for Exeter.

Alison Brooks Architects‘ renders, with their detail, their crystal-clear image quality and their helpful “to scale” people (many wearing year-round sub-fusc), have been enormously useful in enabling us to get both a sense of the scale of the building and of how the finished rooms could look.

Now that construction is well underway, it is exciting to compare the original renders to the building as it develops. Take a look at these photos (taken on 1st October 2015) alongside the architect’s visualizations to get a sense of what the finished building will look like.


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The Learning Commons – autumn 2015. You can already make out the position of the hanging teaching room (top right-hand corner), with its long window. Soon the auditorium and North Quad will start to appear where the large gap is currently (see render directly below)
The Learning Commons as it will be in autumn 2016, with the hanging room on the upper right-hand side and the view across the North Quad to the auditorium


The South Quad under construction – autumn 2015. You can already make out the stone steps (bottom centre of photo) leading down to the cafe. These steps will be bathed in afternoon and evening sunlight
Architect’s render of the South Quad, with steps leading down to the cafe. The Learning Commons is directly above. Walk along the covered colonnade towards the right of the picture and you’ll reach the Porters’ Lodge
Close-up of the cafe, with its indoor and outdoor seating areas. The servery is at the back of the photo


Student bedroom under construction – autumn 2015
Architect’s render of a student bedroom
Architect’s render of a student bedroom (note the two windows that already appear in the construction photo above)


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The Porters’ Lodge, autumn 2015. The archway is the main entrance to the building
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Render of the Porters’ Lodge, which will be a reality by autumn 2016!

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