On-site accommodation for all Somerville undergraduates

2nd June 2017

Niall McLaughlin_1Somerville is delighted to announce planning permission has been approved for a new student accommodation building, which we expect to be completed by October 2019. If so, this will mean that any student applying to the College in 2017 will be able to live on-site for the entirety of their 3 to 4-year undergraduate degree.

 Until now, some Somerville students have been required to live outside the College in their second year.  High living costs in oxford have made it a top priority for the College to provide accommodation for all undergraduates throughout their course.


The Catherine Hughes building, named after Somerville’s late Principal from 1989 to 1996, will be completed in October 2019 and will provide 68 additional bedrooms. The new building, designed by Niall McLaughlin Architects, boasts en suite bathrooms, kitchens and accessible rooms on every floor and a new communal study area for students.


The red brick building will have a frontage on to Walton Street and additional access from the college gardens, aligning with key levels on the adjacent Penrose Building. The bedrooms will be arranged in clusters with kitchens and circulation spaces forming social focal points.

The College will hold monthly meetings with current students, giving them an opportunity to hear how the project is progressing and ask any questions.


Catherine Hughes CMG (nee Pestell), a former diplomat, was Principal of Somerville College from 1989-1996 and oversaw the admission of its first male students and Fellows in 1993-94.  She died on 10th December 2014 after a long illness, leaving a bequest to the College to support the intellectual development of students and Fellows.

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