Porters’ Lodge refurbishment project under way
Exeter College is currently refurbishing the College’s Porters’ Lodge, which has not had significant renovation for many years.
In late 2018, Exeter commissioned architects to conduct a feasibility study exploring several options to improve the accessibility and appearance of the Lodge.
The key aspects of the refurbishment include:
- Changing the layout of the Lodge, reorientating the counter by 90 degrees to improve the visual line to the College entrance
- Decluttering the various electronic panels will make the working and reception spaces more ergonomic for staff and users
- Installing a secondary gate and railings within the arched area will allow the main wooden gate entrance to remain open during day times whilst enhancing security and access restrictions for unauthorised visitors
- Installing a hydraulic lift embedded into the floor of the arched area when not in use to allow unaided access to wheelchair users
- Relocating the pigeonhole area to the back of the Lodge and making it accessible through Staircase 2 will allow more storage space for parcels
- Adding secondary glazing and internal insulation to improve sustainability and the thermal and environmental performance of the site
The applications for planning permission and listed building consent were submitted in August 2021 and granted in October and November 2021.
In early November, ahead of preliminary works, the Lodge was moved to a temporary structure on the Front Quad lawn alongside two sheds to house post and parcels. An extensive asbestos survey was carried out, which yielded negative results. The main building works commenced on 29 November and are expected to last until March 2022.
Rector Professor Sir Rick Trainor said: “Maintaining the integrity of the architectural identity of the space as an Oxford college lodge within a Grade 1 listed building was significant throughout the design process and will guide the building works throughout the duration of the project. In addition, the installation of the second gate to allow the main wooden doors to be open all day will make for a more friendly welcome to Exeter’s Turl Street site.”
Domestic Bursar Babis Karakoulas commented: “The environmental footprint of the proposed design has also been a key consideration. We wanted to make significant improvements to the thermal performance of the site. The Oxford City conservation officer has already approved the secondary glazing, and it will be installed in all windows using the same high-quality timber and finish as in the rest of the Lodge areas.”
The Porters’ Lodge has been moved to a temporary structure on the Front Quad lawn during refurbishments: