‘Phase 1’ of Mill Lane opens!

Dagmar Dolby, standing in front of a group of Fellows and alumni, and between her two granddaughters, laughs after cutting the ribbon to open Phase 1 of the Mill Lane site

2023’s annual May Week Benefactors’ Reception was extra special. Following the College’s traditional refreshments of strawberries, champagne and canapes on Library Lawn, donors were invited to head over for a private opening of the ‘Phase 1’ portion of the Mill Lane site.

The evening before, the College hosted a small ribbon-cutting ceremony with Dagmar Dolby and her twin granddaughters, Violet and Julia. This smaller ceremony allowed for the safety of guests so that the larger number attending on Saturday would not bottleneck onto a busy Trumpington Street.

On the new site, guests could book onto a special performance from the College’s Chapel Choir with Director of Music, Anna Lapwood, conducting in the newly refurbished Auditorium of the former Emmanuel United Reformed Church.

This was followed by a talk with the Haworth Tompkins architects of the site, Beatie Blakemore and Hannah Constantine, in conversation with the Master, Lord Chris Smith, and Fellow and Director of Studies in Architecture, Dr Maximillian Sternberg, discussing the inspiration and practicalities of the new development.

The Auditorium content was then rounded off by a special self-authored performance from the Pembroke Players, the first time the Players have had their own stage to perform from in its almost 70-year lifespan!

Throughout the day, guests could wander in and out of the new Exhibition Room above the Gatehouse, which looks out onto Chiu Court and a delightful wildflower meadow on the Schoolhouse roof. The Exhibition Room displayed a closer look at the site plans with the full architectural vision for the full development and what alumni can look forward to when the site is completed.

Artist-in-Residence, Alison Turnbull, kindly spent the afternoon in Chiu Court, chatting interested guests through her art pieces which were neighbouring them – the mosaic in the courtyard garden, and the abstract paintings situated in the Auditorium foyer, all inspired by Pembroke staircases, from architectural plans old and new.

Our postgraduate students also gave a glimpse into their studies, with posters of their research displayed for alumni to read through in 4 Mill Lane, fittingly, the former home of the University’s Board of Graduate Studies.

The College was delighted to welcome so many of our supporters back to College and looks forward to our alumni seeing the site fully completed in later 2024.

Photos: David Johnson