NEW LECTURE THEATRE AND KITCHENS – MAJOR DONATIONS AND APPOINTMENT OF ARCHITECTS
Worcester College is pleased to announce that plans for a new lecture theatre and kitchens are moving forward. In February 2011 the College, together with the Royal Institute of British Architects, launched an architectural competition that attracted over 100 submissions. Rick Mather Architects, whose most notable projects in Oxford include the magnificent expansion of the Ashmolean Museum, two academic buildings for Keble College and an auditorium for Corpus Christi, are now working with the College on this exciting project, which will transform its facilities for the benefit of fellows, students, staff and visitors.
This has been made possible by the enormous generosity of two Old Members. Firstly, Sir Timothy Sainsbury, a supporter of the College for many years, had the foresight to recommend the architectural competition and agreed to fund it through the Headley Foundation. The Foundation has continued to support the project by pledging a further £1.5m. Sir Timothy said: “Rick Mather has produced a brilliant design, which blends well with the existing college buildings. It provides all the facilities that we hoped to obtain, including as a bonus, a link to the Junior Common Room”.
A second major donation came from HRH Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the Crown Prince of Perak, who studied PPE at Worcester in 1976. He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and a PhD in Political Economy and Government from Harvard University. His Royal Highness has donated £5m, the largest single gift in the history of the College. HRH Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah said: “ I am very pleased to be able to help the College with this project, which I understand will be a major element in marking its 300th anniversary. I look forward to playing a continuing role in the life of the College”.
Provost Jonathan Bate said: “This building will give us the opportunity to host events and high profile lectures that will bring Worcester to the heart of Oxford’s public intellectual life, while new catering arrangements will add further to our terrific sense of community. The College is extraordinarily grateful to these most munificent of donors, and I wish to express my personal thanks to my predecessor, Dick Smethurst, for fostering these relationships.”
The College is currently working with local planners and anticipates that building will commence in early July 2013. In the meantime, fundraising continues as the overall target for the project is in the region of £10m.