Shami Chakrabarti unveils the “beginning of a great modern cathedral of learning”

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Abercrombie Extension opening web image

Oxford Brookes’ Chancellor officially opened the Abercrombie Extension at an event held yesterday.

Shami Chakrabarti was joined by Vice-Chancellor Professor Janet Beer in welcoming students, staff and special guests to the special celebration.

Describing the new building as “absolutely exquisite”, Shami Chakrabarti went onto to say that “this is just 20 per cent of what we are going to have here. This is the beginning of a great modern cathedral of learning.”

This is just 20 per cent of what we are going to have here. This is the beginning of a great modern cathedral of learning

Shami Chakrabarti, Chancellor

The Abercrombie Extension is the first stage of the University’s Headington campus redevelopment, with the John Henry Brookes Building having its phased opening during the upcoming academic semester. 

This inspirational construction has modernised the existing Abercrombie building and provides studios and learning spaces connected by coloured glass walkways spanning an expansive full-height atrium.

The Abercrombie Extension, which has been in use since July 2012, is particularly focused on the needs of our built environment students. The open-plan work areas encourage close working, collaboration and idea sharing between disciplines and year groups.

Speaking at yesterday’s event, Professor Beer commented: “It has been very exciting for our students to be in this space. I don’t think there could be a clearer signal of the commitment we are making to our students.”

I don’t think there could be a clearer signal of the commitment we are making to our students

Professor Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor

On the ground floor of the Abercrombie Extension is the Glass Tank exhibition space, providing a prominent position to exhibit University activity and the achievements of the University’s students. 

The flexible location will suit creativity from sculptures and installations to architecture shows and engineering displays. It is currently exhibiting parts of the Booker Prize Archive which is held at Oxford Brookes.

Local actors from Flintlock Theatre Group provided the entertainment at yesterday’s event. As well as a couple of musical renditions the actors recounted extracts from inspiring speeches on architecture and higher education. 

A selection of pictures from yesterday are available to view below. For more information on Oxford Brookes’ campus redevelopment, visit the Space to Think pages.

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