A New Vision of the Hilda Besse

A New Vision of the Hilda Besse

With such a historically important and well-loved building, the college has planned the renovations to both protect and re-provision the building for the future. All while remaining sympathetic to its original architectural intent. The college also hopes embrace the opportunity of re-landscaping our main quod, to enhance the college as a whole for all community members.

The much-needed renovations to the Hilda Besse also gives us a chance to fully recreate the original architects’ vision for the building – with a modern twist. During the preparation for the building works, original sketches were unearthed showing design details that did not make it to the final version due to constraints.

Below is some concept art of a few of the planned changes. Please note that these are early impressions and final designs may be different.

Dining Hall

Conceptual art for the new Dining Hall

An update of the Dining Hall is planned. Darker, patterned, hard wood flooring and updated replicas of the original dining tables and chairs (to allow for different configurations and to clear the hall easily for events).


Conceptual art for the new Buttery

The Buttery is getting a whole new (old) look. The original designs for the ceiling panels and the concrete bar will be brought to life. The original tiled flooring (yes there are tiles under there) will be revealed and polished.


New Design for the Quad

Possible landscaping design for the Quad after the Hilda Box is removed in 2021.


The renovations will preserve the integrity of the building we love whilst making the Besse a more beautiful, functional, and accessible version of itself.