St John's College Oxford

St John's Auditorium - refurbished and officially reopened

Date 15 December 2018

The President, Fellows and guests celebrated the opening of the newly refurbished Auditorium in Garden Quadrangle with a reception and concert featuring Honorary Fellow Ian Bostridge and pianist Imogen Cooper performing Beethoven and Schubert.

 It was a wonderful opportunity to bring such renowned artists together musically for the first time in a space that Bostridge praised as a ‘sheer pleasure to sing in’.

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The Garden Quadrangle, designed by Sir Richard MacCormac (1938–2014) of MacCormac, Jamieson and Prichard was built in 1991–94 and created a set of buildings which are among the major expressions of post-modernist architecture in England, designed, in the words of the Architectural Review, to ‘civilise its users rather than institutionalise them’. The buildings are distinguished by the use of impressive arches, heavyweight rustication and Piranesi-esque dramatic effects.

The College worked with creative acoustics and theatre consultancy Sound Space Vision, architect Alan Berman and Berman Guedes Stretton architects to revitalise the Auditorium. The refurbishment has created more comfortable seating and improved wheelchair access as well as much better acoustics and improved technical facilities.

AuditoriumThe Auditorium’s future as a premier venue for academic, musical and theatrical events in Oxford is assured.                                                                           

Sound Space Vision

Auditorium opening reception