St John’s College opened a £35 million quad on Saturday, which took ten years to build.
The quadrangle includes teaching rooms, the Kendrew Café, guest rooms, an alumni common room, an artist’s studio, exhibition room and a law library.
It was built thanks to the donation from Nobel Prize winner, Sir John Kendrew (1917-1997) who was the first scientist to be elected President of the College.
Head Porter David Whitaker said: “It’s exceeded all expectations and is more impressive than the plans. The security is as good as it can get without being a fortress.”
Sir Michael Scholar, Master of the college, said in his message to students, parents, staff and alumni who had come for the opening event: “This is a big moment for the college. After a decade of planning, the new building is ours at last.”
Sir Michael added: “It will be perhaps the last new quadrangle in central Oxford.”
Although the project was a month and half behind schedule, taking a decade of planning and construction to complete, rooms are now occupied and teaching rooms are in use.
Students of the college seem to think it was worth the wait; Will Moyle, a 3rd year Maths student, has a room in the new quad: “The kitchens and bathrooms are amazing, and there are great social spaces. It’s definitely an improvement on the Tommy White Quad.”
Future bops will be held in the new Events Room, moving from their current basement venue. One SJC student noted: “This is too glamorous for bops!”
A string quartet and refreshments marked the quad’s official opening.
St John’s quad is one of the greenest buildings in Oxford.