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Somerville College Dining Hall

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Competition | Past

Somerville College Dining Hall

Somerville, a constituent college of the University of Oxford, sought innovative design solutions to their acoustic, lighting, and ventilation issues for their Grade II listed dining hall.

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Founded in 1879 as a pioneering women’s hall, the college opened up an Oxford education to women, regardless of denomination. Named for Mary Somerville, the Scottish science writer and polymath, the college is famous for its campaigning history and progressive ethos.

The competition sought a multi-disciplinary team to develop innovative acoustic, lighting, and ventilation solutions for the college's Grade II listed dining hall. The dining hall is a much loved, elegant room at the centre of college life. The hall currently struggles to accommodate the weekly formal dinners and various events throughout the year due to the triple burden of oppressive acoustics, crude unimaginative lighting, and inadequate ventilation. The competition was launched to look at solutions to this issue.

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