Newnham College

The discussion round the legibility or otherwise of Cathy de Monchaux’s new sculpture at Newnham (is it a vulva or is it a tower of books ?  The answer – very appropriately – is that it’s both) made me intrigued as to what exactly had been demolished in order to allow the construction of Walters and Cohen’s new brick building facing onto Sidgwick Avenue.   The answer is Lyster & Grillet’s mid-1960s Strachey building, named after Pernel Strachey, the suffragist Principal who tried, but failed, to get degrees awarded to women in 1921.   I can understand why it was better that it went than a new building constructed in the garden, but I remember rather admiring its hexagonal contextualism at a time when these characteristics were so unfashionable.   This is what the building looked like (not my photo):-


3 thoughts on “Newnham College

  1. joan says:

    I looked this post up as we had a tour of the college yesterday (my daughter is an offer holder – goodness only knows if she will get the A Level grades to qualify for admission). Whatever the merits of the previous building the new one certainly offers great appeal for prospective and current students. En suite rooms, nice well equipped student kitchens and a cafe which is popular with many humanities students studying on the Sidgwick site.

    We did enjoying visiting the very windy bit of grass bordered by the Hugh Casson designed and prosaically named raised faculty building just across the way from Newhnam.

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