UCL News


Wilkins Terrace & Lower Refectory - brand new spaces for our students

4 October 2017

Wednesday 20 September saw the official launch of the Wilkins Terrace and Lower Refectory, new spaces built for students in the heart of campus to provide a dedicated space for leisure, collaboration, events and a walkway connecting Gordon St and Gower St across campus.

Wilkins Launch 2

The new terrace is built on the physics yard a former utility area at lower ground floor level, which still exists underneath the terrace in order to service the Wilkins building, refectories and other services. This clever use of space, including the stunning redevelopment of the Lower Refectory, now the biggest refectory on campus, represents immediate benefits for our UCL community and demonstrates the spirit and purpose of Transforming UCL.

Musical performances by the Student Union Music Society's string ensemble and acapella vocal group gave a sense of how the new space can be used for events and performances. The terrace's potential came alive as evening set in. The built-in lighting scheme, enhanced by blue uplighters, created a backdrop for the musicians to dramatic effect. Lower Refectory caterers Sodexo, whose affordable, quality food offer is available over extended hours in the transformed Lower Refectory, also showcased their event catering.

Sarah Student Union at Wilkins

Andrew Grainger, Director of UCL Estates, invited speakers including Sarah Al-Aride, Education Officer at the Students' Union, to share their responses to the new terrace and refectory and what it will bring to UCL's community.

Sarah Al Aride, Education Officer, Student Union (pictured), said of the space:

"For new students arriving at UCL, it can feel disappointing at times to be met with building works in and around campus. However, the opening of the Wilkins Terrace and Lower Refectory gives way to endless opportunities, as the perfect setting for student fairs, exhibitions, performances and so much more. They are truly great spaces and will certainly enhance the university experience for UCL students, with the walkway to Gordon St really helping to open up central campus."

Delivered by UCL Estates, the Transforming UCL programme continues apace in delivering new teaching and learning spaces for staff and students. More transformed spaces will be unveiling in the early part of next year including 1-19 Torrington Place, a dedicated teaching and learning facility that will be inclusive, accessible and showcase enhanced audio visual and IT such as integrated laptop docking stations on desktops and Technology Enhanced Active Learning (TEAL), to better facilitate research-based education.

A full introduction to the Transforming UCL programme is also available.