Homerton College to build new dining hall for 250th anniversary

Caithlin Ng 25 March 2017

Homerton College has named the London-based architecture practice Feilden Fowles as the winner of a competition for designing a new dining hall, in celebration of the College’s 250th anniversary next year.

Feilden Fowles beat out about 154 other firms from around the world to secure the £7 million contract. Other competing firms included runner-up dRMM and Caruso St John, with the college’s Estates Project Board acting as the jury.

While Homerton’s existing Victorian Great Hall is currently being used for daily student meals and formal dinners, efficiency has been held back by its small kitchen, which cannot be adequately expanded. The new 300-person hall will allow the College to cater to a greater capacity, and is set to take over the current Great Hall as the main location for daily meals and more formal events. The Great Hall will subsequently be used for “a wider variety of student uses”, according to Homerton College’s website, including lectures, performances, and smaller dinners.

Commenting on Feilden Fowles’ success, Fergus Feilden, a director with the firm, said, “We feel very honoured to be given the opportunity ahead of more established practices and feel it reflects the genuine openness of the competition process, as well as the college’s belief in investing in young talent.”

Professor Geoffrey Ward, Homerton College principal, also announced, “Feilden Fowles’ concept design for the dining hall relates subtly to the existing ensemble of buildings and the garden setting, and yet has the poise to convince as a showpiece. What appealed so strongly about the team’s particular approach was their openness to creating many opportunities for dialogue.”

Construction on the new 1,400 sq m building is set to begin in 2018.