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College appoints architects for major project on the Island Site

9:22, Saturday 15 June 2019

The College has appointed architects Gort Scott to work with it on the remodelling of its Hall and other central spaces.

The appointment comes at the end of a design competition run in conjunction with Malcolm Reading Consultants. The first phase of the competition took place in February and attracted expressions of interest from more than 30 architects. The College’s selection panel shortlisted six practices and sought comments on their submissions from students, Fellows and staff.

The Governing Body ratified the selection of Gort Scott at the end of May. This followed overwhelming support for the firm’s initial design concepts from across the College community. The College looks forward to working with Gort Scott to deliver revitalised social spaces that benefit all who live in, work at, or visit St Catharine’s.

The design brief proposes a redeveloped Hall that better meets the functional needs of the College and serves as a more fitting and memorable place for dining. A new atrium will provide an elegant means of connection with accessibility for all, establishing a new step-free route between Main Court and Chapel Court, and a new access route to the Sherlock Library. Enlarged and reconfigured catering facilities will improve food production lines in an upgraded working environment, with discreet movement and convenient serveries that ensure all rooms are fully accessible and fully serviceable.

The College hopes to begin construction in the summer of 2020 and complete the work within 18 months. A substantial lead gift of £4 million from two Members has been critical to the project’s commencement. The same Members have also established a matched funding challenge, to encourage others to support this vital project. All gifts received for the remodelling of our central spaces before June 2021 attract pound-for-pound matched funds, up to a maximum of £4 million in matched funds from the donors. Successful completion of this matched funding challenge will result in a total of £12 million for the project.