The refurbished parts of the College
sauna library are set to open for business in early July, with improved air circulation and a new entrance making very little difference whatsoever to the soaring temperatures. However, a more space will be available along with a new coffee shop area, aided by the removal of Waterstones.
The principal changes have involved an extension to level 1 of the building, taking over much of the walkway adjacent to the Sherfield entrance. A new service tower, which includes lifts, stairs and ventilation systems has been installed and poorly camouflaged. Changes which would have made real differences to the ambient temperature in the library, including solar shading, were blocked by residents of neighbouring Alexandra Court.
The refurbished ground level of the library includes a brand new entrance, which sits on a suspiciously narrow entrance walkway next to the Queen's Lawn, leading this reporter to wonder how long it will take for part of the lawn to become concrete or paving slabs. The library now has three clashing styles on its Queen's Lawn-facing façade: a particularly twee stone fascia on the core of the building, a two storey glass-fronted extension on top and now a ground-floor modification which consists of brown plastic panels and tinted glass. This of course ignores the service tower, which has adopted the "cyan slats" design employed on the former black box in the Tanaka building.
Students hoping to escape the soaring temperatures in the library during exams by seeking solace on the Queen's Lawn are once again out of luck, as another huge marquee was erected on Sunday to house postgraduate commemoration day, blocking off the vast majority of the lawn in the process.