Queen's

744 Words3 Pages
ounded 1341 by Robert de Eglefield and named after Queen Philippa of Hainault (Wife of Edward III). Sister College – Pembroke College Cambridge. Men and Women – Undergraduates 348 Postgraduates 115. Imagine, if you will, a large ancient globe set in a curved dark wooden frame balanced on three legs. This sits on a highly pattern carpet placed on top of beautifully worn floorboards. To each side are rows of timber-panelled bookcases stacked high with volumes. Between each bookcase is an intimate reading area. Above the books are huge round ached windows, spilling light everywhere, and above the windows is an intricately decorated white plaster ceiling. Welcome to The Queen’s College – Renaissance heaven. Art school favourite builds stunning accommodation The Queen’s College was once referred to as ‘The Northern College’ but is now much more cosmopolitan, attracting students from all over the kingdom as well as abroad. It combines impressive historic buildings that boast modern facilities, along with several off-site annexes that can accommodate all but a few of its members. The Florey Building is one such, having been described as a landing spacecraft as it stands on stilts. It was designed in the 1970’s by art school favourite, the uncompromising, James Sterling. While many of his contemporaries were building monolithic concrete structures with vague references to surrounding buildings, Sterling was producing coherent modern creations that displayed a light touch. This building uses his trademark red tiles in a beautifully precise arrangement, with glistening glass forms fragmenting the space it sits in, making no attempt to blend. It has to be said this joyous masterpiece has been a shade neglected and is in need of a little lov... ... middle of paper ... ...style (European classicalism gone mad, with added detail and swirls). Work started in 1672 and nothing survives before this. The completion of the Front Quad was greeted as ‘the grandest piece of classical architecture in Oxford’, despite being restrained by a Puritain dislike for too much overindulgence. Nicholas Hawksmoor designed the famous, and much photographed, frontage, although some of his more extravagant proposals were toned down. The designers of just about everything else are anonymous and subject to much speculation. The Back Quad is equally impressive – the west range containing the library, a huge temple dedicate to learning. The upper library houses the globe, the worn carpets and elegant bookcases with which we started. The designer of the most beautiful room in Oxford is mysteriously not known, but it does have a strong Christopher Wren feel to it.
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