The opening of Gresham Court represents an important milestone in the development of Hughes Hall. Its 85 rooms with resident students’ study space help to create a still closer and more cohesive student community, with easy connectivity of residential, academic and social environments. Occupying a fine site on the historic sporting space of Fenner’s opposite the main College buildings, the new building is linked by a pathway across Fenner’s which runs to the Pavilion Room garden.
The main façade on Gresham Road, a delightful residential street, provides the College with a significant public frontage for the first time in its 131-year history, greatly enhancing our physical presence in Cambridge as well as greatly enriching our academic community. A striking feature is the view through the undercroft across the green sward of Fenner’s to the Wileman building – a wonderful view.
Other notable elements of the building, designed by award-winning architects RHP of Cambridge, include the hand-forged entrance gates. Made by renowned architectural blacksmith Alan Dawson, the gates display 116 marsh marigolds, marking the 116 nations in which Hughes alumni are represented. The marsh marigold is the oldest symbol of the College, adopted in the 1890s by the first generation of students. When a student from a hitherto unrepresented country matriculates at Hughes, a new marsh marigold will be added, celebrating our global reach and cosmopolitan character.
The bike-store screens are also unique, hand-made by Alan Dawson to designs created by St Matthew’s Primary School on nearby Norfolk Street. The various motifs represent the children’s view of how the College should be symbolised, with cricket and rowing elements incorporated in the design to reflect our position on the University cricket field and our rowing prowess. We are proud to form part of our local community in Cambridge and are delighted by the contribution of our local school to the Gresham Court aesthetic.
We are most grateful to the many donors from around the world, alumni, friends and charitable trusts and foundations who have helped to bring Gresham Court to fruition. Some have named rooms, and these names weave into the building the strong connections which have been forged at the College over many years, connections which are solid and enduring. The building stands as a tribute to the generosity of the Hughes community and those who share and support our vision.
Welcome to Gresham Court!
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