Homerton students will, in the future, no longer have their daily meals in the Great HallCMGlee

Homerton College is to spend £7m on building a brand new dining hall which will replace its Great Hall as the main venue for students and fellows to dine. 

Architects have been invited to submit proposals for the college's new “emblematic centrepiece,” which will be 1,400m² in size, from which six firms will be shortlisted for interview.

The Great Hall, which was the largest dining hall of any Cambridge college when it was built in 1889, is no longer deemed fit for purpose. It will, however, continue to be used for performances or group activities. 

The college's bursar, Deborah Griffin, told Cambridge News that Homerton “has become increasingly known for its sociable and friendly atmosphere”.

“[W]e are ambitious to express this in our architecture, to have a building that reflects the college's values and energies,” she added.

Malcolm Reading, who is organising the contest, said: “This is a fascinating project because it reflects a contemporary preoccupation shared by many leading organisations: how to balance the formal with the informal?

“The college is seeking a team that can create spaces that encourage everyday sociability and serendipitous connections, and also distinguished set-piece ceremonial events.”

Building work on this new project is due to start in 2018, with Homerton also set to open a new £8.5m accommodation block in the coming months.