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15th July 2019 Yvonne Rainey - Director of Development & Alumni Relations

Exeter appoints architects for Library rejuvenation

Exeter has appointed Nex architects to help restore and renew the College Library and make it suitable for 21st-century study.

We are delighted to announce that Exeter College has appointed the team at London-based Nex architects to work on the College’s Library rejuvenation project.

Five firms were short-listed for this unique project, and although all of them presented us with design ideas and concepts, the selection process was not about choosing a final design but rather about choosing the firm we felt had the best approach to the project and a team we trusted to deliver our vision.

Our aim has always been to provide 21st-century study facilities for our students whilst preserving and enhancing the architecture of the original building. We were impressed with Nex’s thoughtful and flexible approach and their sensitivity to the heritage aspect of the building and surrounding site.

Rector Professor Sir Rick Trainor said: “This is such a vital project for the college; it was essential for us to identify the best team who most connected with the challenge. We were very fortunate to attract a stellar shortlist and we have enjoyed meeting and getting to know each of the finalist teams over the past weeks.

“Ultimately, however, Nex won us over with a combination of talent, insight and rigour, and we look forward to working with them as we repair, restore and renew the library for future generations. On behalf of the college, I would like to thank all the shortlisted teams, each of whom gave it their all.”

Nex director Alan Dempsey said: “There are some projects that have an extra-special aura, and this was one we absolutely loved. We are so thrilled to win, and to take care of this building and refresh it for the next fifty to a hundred years is a great privilege.”

We are fortunate that one of the team that Nex has brought together for this project is an alumna of the College, Hannah Parham (2001, Modern History), who is a heritage consultant with Donald Insall Associates. She also co-edited the book Exeter College: the First 700 Years and therefore has an intimate knowledge of the College’s history and buildings.

The design work can now begin in earnest and we look forward to sharing updates with you as plans develop.

Nex have provided a number of concept images that give a sense of their initial ideas for the Library, which will evolve as the designs progress. All images are copyright Nex.

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