Thursday, 22 May 2008

New Hall

I went over to New Hall College in Cambridge today to see my friend Peter Kirkham who works in the gardens there. I had never been to New Hall before. It is one of the modern colleges of Cambridge - built in the sixties by the architects responsible for the Barbican complex in London.

There is something a bit grim and Stalinist about concrete, but the structure is definitely exciting in a severe kind of way. There is a huge dome over the dining hall that looks like a cross between an astronomical observatory and a massive concrete flower bud. I'd certainly like to see inside sometime.

I was amazed to discover there were only four gardeners to tend to over 11 acres (at least I think that's what Peter said. The gardens looked great though and I want to make a return trip later in the summer to see what else is going on. I particularly liked the herb garden where students are actively encouraged to eat the plants.

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