Inaugural walking of the glass bridges - celebrating Abercrombie

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Abercrombie glass bridge walk

Capital Projects celebrated the opening of Abercrombie


To recognise the progress in the campus redevelopment and to commemorate the completion of the Abercrombie building the University’s Capital Projects team, who run the redevelopment project, invited some of the key contractors to celebrate. The get together culminated in two students taking the first steps onto the glass bridges and making the first official crossing. 

The Abercrombie extension marks the first stage in the £132m redevelopment of the Headington Campus.  It represents just 20% of the total redevelopment, which will provide new library, teaching and catering facilities as well as a purpose-built home for Student Central, the Careers Centre and the Students’ Union. 
With people using the Abercrombie atrium space, conversing, enjoying a bite to eat and a glass of wine, the building took on a different feel. In the day the building is used by students and staff having a drink and a luxury sandwich or finding a place for collaborative work in the Space to Think Lab. In the evening the building effortlessly moved to a different function, with canapés being served and light piano music in the background. The building became a venue. 
The building also hosted a student event on the same night. 
The opening of the Pavilion Project dove-tailed perfectly with the Capital Project event as it will also play an important part in the campus redevelopment. The Pavilion Project is a collaboration between the Fine Arts and Architecture departments and is the first exhibition to go into the Glass Tank exhibition space. Each of the Pavilion Project exhibits is an entry into a competition where the winning design will be constructed on the new piazza on London Road. If you get the chance it’s definitely worth visiting the Glass Tank and having a look for yourself. 
Yannis Roussos, Associate Director of Capital Projects used his speech to thank the contractors for their work and highlighted how proud they should be on the completion of the first phase of the project and to rally them for the challenges that Phase 2, the completion of the main library and teaching building, and Phase 3, the piazza, will provide. 
To bring the event to a close Tobi Fett and Shweta Soni who have both provided a huge amount of support to the Student Redevelopment Group had the honour of cutting a ribbon and crossing one of the glass bridges for the first time. They both highlighted how they have enjoyed using the new building and noted they felt perfectly safe as they walked over the suspended coloured glass!!! 
Entertainment was provided by Sam Swinnerton the pianist from the music society and Justin Ryan Gunson from the Circus Society showed off his prowess with a pack of cards.