Mansfield’s extension, due to be completed in February 2013, will include a new student refectory and cafe-bar as well as remodelling the Victorian kitchens.
Glass doors to a south-facing sunken terrace, which will open onto the college’s main quad, will replace two stone-framed windows. The extension will also feature a frameless glass roof over the atrium, which will be accessible from all parts of the college’s east wing.
The new building will double Mansfield’s catering capacity and improve and expand its delivery of conferences and corporate events. In addition, existing tutor rooms will be refurbished and a new workshop will be created.
Joe Morris, President of the Mansfield JCR, told Cherwell, “The college has been fantastic on trying to ensure that any disruption to student life is minimal, and have ensured that any inconvenience has been shared around the common rooms.”
Due to building works, Mansfield students have had to dine in the chapel as the catering and dining facilities are being developed. Morris said, “Dining in Chapel has certainly been a change from the norm, but everyone has appreciated extra slots being available for formals.”
The London-based Rick Mather architects, responsible for the award-winning £61 million project to renovate the Ashmolean Museum in 2009, designed Mansfield’s new extension.
The construction company Stepnell are the main contractors responsible for the building project. Dave Murphy, of Stepnell, told Cherwell that the company is doing all it can to minimise the disruption to college life, working ”in close liaison with the college.”
Tasha Dhanraj, a first year at Mansfield, commented, “I think the extension is a really great idea…The new terrace area will also mean that the undergraduate population have more areas to enjoy socially, which is never a bad thing.”
Hannah Dewhirst, another Mansfield fresher, said, “Hopefully the kitchen extension will mean that all students at the college will be fed, including those with special dietary requirements, and the queues will be less long.”