Exeter College takes possession of Cohen Quad

It is with great pleasure that we announce that the College took possession of Cohen Quad on Friday 23rd December after a tremendous final push by all involved in getting the building ready. All those expecting to live and work at Cohen Quad this year will be able to do so from Sunday 8th January, including the students who will be resident there for the rest of the academic year. It has been a long journey and everyone has been incredibly supportive and patient as we have worked round the clock to see the building completed as quickly as possible.

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A completed study-bedroom

The 90 student study-bedrooms are now fully furnished as are the three family kitchens and most of the teaching rooms. We are in the process of putting the final touches to the Learning Commons, Student Common Room and Front Desk and, over the course of Hilary Term, will complete the auditorium and café, expecting to be able to serve food in the café from Monday of 1st Week. At just a 9-minute walk across town, we hope that all those based at the Turl Street site will take time to visit during Hilary Term: Cohen Quad is for all College members, whether they’re resident or not, and all students – graduates, undergraduates, and Williams – are welcome to come and go as they please. Cohen Quad really is our third quad and we are excited about the wonderful spaces and facilities it offers.

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A family kitchen

We know that many of our alumni and neighbours will be keen to visit. We will be in touch with details of opportunities to drop in: right now we’re focussed on getting the building up and running and making preparations for the formal opening on 18th and 19th March 2017 to which all donors will be invited.

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The entrance of Cohen Quad with colonade

It really is a superb building and, with scaffolding and protective covers removed, the light and the quality of the building materials provide a stunning environment for living and working. As the Sunday Times said this week, this is a building to watch in 2017!

 

Student bedrooms on first floor completely finished

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.

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The cupboard wall

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The desk space

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The storage space

Contractors put finishing touches on student rooms

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!

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Paving leading into the amphitheatre steps of Benson Quad 

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The pigeon holes

Rooms with a View

In Hilary term Exeter’s JCR, the undergraduate common room, organises the housing ballot which determines the rooms in College that students have in the next academic year. Every student is randomly assigned a number and those highest up the list get the first pick of the rooms. This year’s ballot, held on a fresh Saturday spring morning, was particularly exciting as it was the first time the 90 new bedrooms at Cohen Quad were up for grabs.

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The first student, Evelyn (2014, Medical Sciences), signs for her room at Cohen Quad

The bedrooms have been designed to make the very most of the space and each will have an ensuite bathroom, a large desk, plenty of ingenious storage solutions and a fridge! When walking around through the upper floors on the site you can’t help but notice the large feature windows at the heart of each bedroom. These huge panes of glass will allow natural light to flood in and offer fantastic views over the South Quad and across into Jericho.

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A student bedroom with a beautiful view of Worcester College gardens

 

Unsuprisingly the bedrooms at Cohen Quad were snapped up quickly by our undergraduates. With all the bedrooms now signed for, moving-in day this Michaelmas seems just a little bit more real…

 

Supporter Stories: Amanda McDonald and Friends

Amanda McDonald came up to Exeter in 1991 to read English.  She has many happy memories of her time at the College and has remained in touch with many of her Exeter friends.

Sadly, Amanda is now very ill and her friends have decided to come together to commemorate her time at Exeter by naming a student bedroom in her honour at Cohen Quad.  Together, they will donate £10,000 to make the dream a reality.

Charlotte Morgan (1991, English) said: “Amanda has been my dearest friend since College days.  We love to imagine future students gossiping, drinking bad coffee and generally having the time of their lives in ‘her’ room, just as we did all those years ago.”

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Architect’s render of a student bedroom at Cohen Quad

Amanda returned to Exeter this week with her husband Dean, her father Alan and three of her greatest College friends.  After lunch, she and Dean renewed their wedding vows in the Chapel, where they were married in July 2010.  At the end of their visit, they drove to Walton Street to take a look at Cohen Quad as it goes up.

Amanda said: “Exeter College is a very special place for me and I’m thrilled with the idea of the Amanda McDonald Room. It means so much to me and my family that I will be remembered in this way.”

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Amanda and Charlotte finishing Finals, summer 1994

After leaving university Amanda went on to a build a successful career in marketing and advertising, becoming MD of a marketing agency in the Midlands.  Her insights into community marketing have proved invaluable for us at Exeter and we’d like to thank her for sharing her inspiring ideas about building vibrant alumni communities, many of which shaped this very blogsite.

If you would like to make a donation towards the Amanda McDonald Bedroom, please contact us.

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The Exeter College Chapel, where Dean and Amanda were married in 2010

Invest in Cohen Quad

The generous support of alumni and Friends of Exeter has enabled us to purchase the former Ruskin College site on Walton Street, enlist award-winning architects to produce an innovative design for the new campus, and begin to make this vision a reality during construction.

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New brochure outlining remaining opportunities for support

The total cost of purchasing, designing and building Cohen Quadrangle is expected to be £46m. To date, over £17m has been given in donations from Exeter alumni and Friends out of a fundraising goal of £18m. This means that we are just £1m short of our target!

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New brochure outlining remaining opportunities for support

Be part of Exeter’s future! This is your last opportunity to support the quadrangle as it enters its final few months of construction. Donations of all sizes are extremely welcome, and examples of what your gifts could achieve are set out below.

Student bedroom

There will be 90 student bedrooms at Cohen Quadrangle, all with en-suite bathrooms, with views looking out across Jericho, North Oxford, Worcester College and beyond.

A donation of £10,000 will name a student bedroom (with a plaque outside the door honouring your support) as you direct. Click here to read about two Exonians who have done exactly this.

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Student bedroom

South Quadrangle steps

The amphitheatre-style steps in Cohen Quad’s South Quadrangle are a sun-trap, providing an attractive outside seating area for Exonians during the summer months. The steps lead down to the Dakota Cafe and up to the Porters’ Lodge and main entrance, forming an important pathway through the site.

A donation of £7,000 will see your name engraved on a step in the South Quadrangle as a visible marker of your support of the new building.

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The steps in the South Quadrangle, leading down to the Dakota Cafe

Chair in the auditorium

Cohen Quad’s auditorium will be Exeter’s first above-ground lecture and performance venue.  It is a large, multi-purpose space that offers modern facilities for a wide range of activities.

A donation of £2,000 will ensure there is a chair named in your honour in this exciting part of Cohen Quadrangle.

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The auditorium

There are opportunities to invest in other parts of Cohen Quad, too. To see the full range of projects to support such as the Cairncross Kitchen and the Maddicott and Eltis Rooms, please click here.

To make or to discuss a donation, please contact Development Director Katrina Hancock.

Views From The Top

The Alumni and Development Office team were fortunate to visit Cohen Quadrangle on a gloriously sunny autumn day. Here are some of our photographs from the top to brighten your Wednesday.

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Looking north from the top of Cohen Quad – you can see the Radcliffe Observatory and the new Blavatnik School of Government in the distance
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The top floor of Cohen Quadrangle with its distinctive curved roof
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This is the highest part of the original Edwardian facade of Ruskin College
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View! The large building to the left of the photo is the Oxford University Press on Walton Street
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It seems a shame to fill the walls in when there’s a view like this! – but you can imagine how lovely North Oxford will look out of these dormer windows on the third floor
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This space will be the Senior Common Room. To the right of the photo there will be rooms for teaching and study. Behind where the photographer is standing to take this picture there will be a roof garden
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Looking across the top of the site from east to west
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A fully-fitted bathroom pod being lowered into the second floor at Cohen Quad
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The Exeter Alumni and Development Office team at Cohen Quad