Since September 2015, the Faculty of Law’s St Cross building - which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 - has undergone a major building project and refurbishment of its first, second and third floors. By reducing some of the space previously allocated to the Bodleian law library and reorganising other space, the Faculty could accommodate the Centre for Criminology, which had been housed in the Manor Road Social Sciences building since 2003. When we moved to Manor Road, it was only ever intended to be a temporary measure, with the eventual aim being that all the Law Faculty’s ‘Centres’ would move to St Cross. After almost 18 months of meetings with architects and the ‘project team’ and tours of the ‘site’, we moved into our new space on the first floor at the end of Michaelmas term 2016.
The Faculty had learnt a lot about how to create modern, functional working space inside a listed building from Phase 1 of the St Cross project (which produced, for example, the wonderful ‘Cube’ lecture theatre). That said, it was still no small feat to create a light, modern, fully accessible, and fun space for criminology students and faculty to conduct their teaching and research while staying true to the 1960s exterior and interior architecture, protected by the restrictive rules of National Heritage. But while compromises were made (I really didn’t like the obligatory ‘mole’ coloured carpet), we managed to introduce colour, comfort, and – we hope – some style into our new home. We did so with considerable support from the Law Faculty administration, most notably Katie Light (who wore a reflective jacket, hard hat and builders’ boots with more style than most of us can pull off).