Eliot College

William Holford & Partners, Canterbury, 1965


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Eliot College is joined to the rest of campus by a pedestrian platform with a causeway underneath  

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  • Eliot College is joined to the rest of campus by a pedestrian platform with a causeway underneath     
  • Top of university grounds lies on crown of St Thomas    
  • Looking through the entrance cloister on to the pedestrian platform    
  • Geometry of the plan allows little chance of subtlety in handling interior spaces but this sudden view from the single flight of steps leading down into the refectory is splendid    
  • The refectory rises through three storeys of study bedrooms to which it is connected on two levels. Steps here lead down from the common room between flanking walls of fairfaced brickwork    
  • Detail of deep fairfaced concrete roof beams which act as a cut-off to lines of glazing above    
  • Typical study-bedroom    
  • The common room is as high as the refectory and has a generous milling space with shops and a bar. Forty-five years on, and the space is now a cafe and bar called     
  • Detail of low fixed benches    
  • The staff common room overlooks the refectory and includes a small bar on the lower of its two levels    
  • This curious precast detail surrounds the cloister in the central court    
  • The campus the first students were greeted by. The current campus has seen continuous development ever since    
  • Physical sciences building from the Eliot college causeway. This building is now the home to the Kent School of Architecture    
  • Campus site plan in 1965    
  • First floor plan    
  • Second floor plan (entrance level)    
  • Layout of standard corridor of study bedrooms    
  • Layout of staff corridor    

Student accommodation for the University of Kent with refectory, common room and lecture rooms

The concrete and brick structure has a rigid geometric pattern consisting of four diamonds joined at the centre to form a central court.

The centre of each diamond is filled with large elements of the refectory, kitchen, common room, lecture and seminar rooms. Corridors of study rooms line each diamond unit, with near octagonal circulation routes winding through the building at different levels. The main entrance comes from an entrance bridge on the first level.

With the campus at the top of a hill overlooking Canterbury, the south-facing triple-height refectory has outstanding views.

Eliot College followed Kent's policy that buildings of residence and buildings of teaching should be kept separate. It was one of two buildings completed for first intake of 500 students at the University of Kent in 1965. The other – a physics laboratory – is now home to the Kent School of Architecture.

Professional Team