Interior viewings of the new campus at Devon House were undertaken this week by both Student Ambassadors and the Student Union to a soundtrack of excited chatter. Our consensus: our new campus is innovative, ergonomic, and inspiring; and occupies a place within London’s beating heart of culture and history. It is obvious, even as some superficial construction work continues, Devon House brings vast opportunity to further the vision of the New College of the Humanities, and expands on the existing benefits to our community through our membership of Northeastern University’s global network.
Devon House stands on the north banks of the Thames, turning heads of passing river boat passengers. Entering through the exclusive, glass-doored entrance, you will be greeted by an abundance of plant life and the sweet melodies produced by top-of-the-line turnstiles. It is the colour palette that first hits you, precise monochrome shades and vibrant fall colours smattered with chlorophyll green.
Anticipating the arrival of teaching, a seemingly endless number of fully-stocked classrooms await. Small tutorial rooms are airy and intimate, while seminar rooms are functional and located in quiet corners. Movable, honeycombed-shaped desks that are all ‘writable’ —they multitask as dry-eraser boards— populate lecture rooms of varying capacity. It is easy to imagine the future scents of ideas and discovery floating through the fresh air-conditioned air.
Standing out to all present were the multitude of tucked away spaces for quiet study and contemplation. Comfortable and built with study in mind, they are a perfect place for deciphering complex texts and writing that soon due formative assignment. So comfortable in fact, many of you may very well find yourself awoken by passing students, hopefully just in time for your next tutorial.
Atmospheric and adaptable event spaces will become the home of our guest speakers and bar nights. Surprising all is the malleability of these spaces to all kinds of events, with plenty of storage and kitchen facilities that double for daily use. Acoustics are well planned, and high-end technology is incorporated to execute events seamlessly and with style. Furniture is fantastically comfortable and, importantly, accessibility extends throughout the entire campus.
After the challenges faced to our community these last two years, we find ourselves at a vital standpoint, within which Devon House will play a role. Alone, Devon House is not NCH, but it will become for us—the students, faculty, and staff; the real NCH—the home for our discoveries and debates, some realisations, and lots of friendly disagreements. We will make it somewhere to develop and build on our traditions, a place where a larger community of diverse and inquisitive minds can flourish, all whilst widening our perspectives along the way. As Helen Keller has said, “alone, we can do so little; together, we can do so much.” I can’t wait to see you there in September.