Credit: Keiko Ikeuchi

Credit: Keiko Ikeuchi

Auditorium 1

Announcing the opening of the Hands Building, Mansfield College

Read all about the state-of-the-art facilities at Mansfield College's brand new Hands Building

Nestled in a glorious location, Mansfield College is a unique venue in the heart of historic Oxford.  With its inspiring Victorian architecture, the College is designed around a large circular quadrangle and offers a stunning backdrop for a truly memorable guest experience.


In October 2017, thanks to the generosity of alumni, friends of Mansfield and donors to the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights (BIHR), the College’s goal of providing new facilities for the benefit of future generations of students was realised with the opening of the Hands Building, named in recognition of the generous support of Guy (PPE, 1978) and Julia Hands MBE. This followed a major fundraising campaign with a goal of £13 million.  The Hands Building offers 74 en-suite study bedrooms and a 160 seat auditorium that will be used for a range of activities such as lectures, seminars, film screenings, moot court and performing arts.

The Hands Building, which makes extensive use of natural light to stunning effect, is also home to the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights. It was designed by Rick Mather Architects and is commended for its innovative design and is an exemplar for student and academic accommodation. The Oxford City Planning Department praised the building for its use of renewable energy sources and other features which make it a model of sustainability. Over the lifetime of the building this will help to significantly reduce the College’s running costs.


The Hands Building was created using pre-fabricated engineered timber panels which form the super-structure and were built off-site.  Each study bedroom and bathroom came ready assembled in a ‘pod’. This reduced the number of deliveries, reduced time lost between different tradespeople and minimised disruption to College life.


Delightfully, the first College speaker event held in the new auditorium on 20th October 2017 was an ‘in conversation’ between the College Principal, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC and Dame Maggie Smith, CH. Dame Maggie Smith has worked extensively in theatre, film and television since her debut playing Viola in Twelfth Night with OUDS at Mansfield College in 1952. That performance took place in Mansfield College gardens, within the area where the new Hands Building now sits. It was wonderful to welcome Dame Maggie Smith back to Mansfield where she was also awarded the Conferral of an Honorary Fellowship of the College making this the first memorable occasion in the College’s wonderful new auditorium.


Mansfield is delighted to be able to offer the Sir Joseph Hotung Auditorium and en-suite study bedrooms for educational conferences throughout the College vacations – for more information, please visit the Mansfield College venue page or contact Lynne Quiggin on lynne.quiggin@mansfield.ox.ac.uk or 01865 282888

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