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.
It’s been over 18 months now since the original Ruskin College buildings were demolished, the façade anchored in place, and 14,200 tons of earth removed in 710 lorry loads. Today, much of the core structure is completed, the auditorium is in place, and the glazing and roofing are now being put in place.
Each week, Fran Monks (Friend of Exeter) has taken a photograph of the site from the roof of her home in Worcester Place. We’ve put them all together in a time-lapse video which you can view here:
Watch as we excavate into the basement, look out for the arrival of the big red crane, see the creation of the arched colonnade, view the construction of each floor, and be amazed at the building of the auditorium with its signature wish-bone rafters! The video finishes with most of the building swathed in weatherproof plastic, but you can still catch a glimpse of the glazing and rimex roofing.
We are pleased to report that work at Cohen Quad is progressing well and the main site activities are now focused on fitting out the building’s contents.
One of the last windows to be fitted – an impressive dormer window on the fourth floor with exceptional views over Jericho – was installed in March and the building is now fundamentally watertight. This has allowed the internal fit-out to begin, including the interior joinery and plaster boarding.
The dormer window with its exceptional views over Jericho
The wiring has been completed in the basement and on the ground floor and next week work will begin on the interior stonework on these floors. Meanwhile the electricians have moved to the first floor as they work their way up the building.
On the outside the first Rimex metal roof tiles have been fitted to the building’s exterior. These will give Cohen Quad its distinctive metallic roof and will also cover the exterior of some walls. Panel by panel the exterior of Cohen Quad will take shape and come the end of June the large crane that has dominated the site for many months will be removed, making it possible to see clearly how the finished building will look.
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.”
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.”
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.
As promised, here is a pre-weekend update on the steel roof trusses at Cohen Qudrangle.
What is a roof truss? It’s a structural framework designed to bridge the space above a room and to provide support for a roof. Ours are made of steel and are now being installed at the site. Excitingly, this means the full shape of the roof-line has become clear for the first time:
In the picture above you can see how metal wall framing and stone cladding has also begun.
In other news, glue-laminated spruce (“glulam” for short) is now being produced for Cohen Quad in a factory near Amsterdam. Made of individual laminations of solid timber glued together, glulam is larger and longer than standard logs. It is therefore perfect for use in both our South Cloister colonnade and as the timber frame for the auditorium.
The Deputy Bursar will shortly be asked to approve the glulam’s moisture content – then it will be shipped across to Oxford ready for installation.
Don’t tell me that we don’t keep you fully updated on all that is happening on Oxford’s most exciting building site!
Just a brief note from Cohen Quadrangle to announce that installation of student bathroom pods will shortly begin (surely the news you’ve all been waiting for!).
After a short summer delay, the pods are on their way to Oxford and will be installed at Cohen Quadrangle in early October. Amazingly, they travel almost fully assembled which means that installation at their destination should be fast and smooth.
Every one of the 90 student bedrooms at Cohen Quadrangle will be en suite. You can read more about the bathrooms (and their Spanish provenance) in our earlier post.
Stay tuned for our next Cohen Quad update, featuring steel roof trusses!