Communal, and formal, dining were central to College life up to the 1960s. Here, c 1913, we see the original Dining Hall of 1860, gas-lit, with the conical hatch to the kitchen shown on Colson’s plans of 1860 plainly visible. This Dining Hall, and the kitchens, were significantly upgraded at a cost of £14,500 in 1953 when Principal Dickinson was delighted to report that the whole College could once more dine together.
A new Dining Hall was completed in 1962 (Woodroffe, Buchanan and Coulter). Its hyperbolic paraboloid roof (otherwise described by Nikolaus Pevsner as a ‘collapsed- tent roof’) was unusual, while its buttresses and large windows rendered it a neo-Gothic structure.
By 2006, when he took a sledgehammer to the 1962 Dining Hall, Principal Light had become Vice-Chancellor of the University of Winchester following Privy Council endorsement in 2005.
Light’s university vision included an imposing University Centre, with new Food Hall Dining facilities. Today the University is a leader in promoting local, ethically farmed and procured animal products, and sustainability.
The dining in the Food Hall occupies a space below a roof which while echoing its 1960 predecessor has been acoustically engineered.