The newly renovated William Doo Auditorium supports New College students as never before, with new spaces and resources which have been developed based on student suggestions and feedback. Thanks to New College alumnus William Doo’s generous gift, 45 Willcocks and the ‘Doo’ is a showcase of how modern student space should function.
A transformative one million dollars of Doo’s gift to New College was earmarked for the restoration and revitalization of the William Doo Auditorium, located in New College III at 45 Willcocks. This generous gift allowed for the re-invention and re-imagination of an important multi-purpose space. The auditorium is a hub of activity for New College, used for everything from lectures to conferences to alumni events to student movie nights.
The creation of ‘hangout steps’, serve as both seating for the William Doo Auditorium and an inviting place for students to gather. When the space is not in use for large events, the dividing wall of the auditorium can be closed, the new entrance to the auditorium opened and the steps will in effect become part of the atrium student lounge. By using steps instead of traditional seats, the atmosphere of this area will become more informal and inviting. Power outlets are placed at regular intervals along the risers of the steps to meet with the ever-growing need for charging stations; track doors allow flexible space configuration to meet the needs of varying sizes of groups; and two separate AV systems allow for simultaneous multi-space use. As is the case in all current projects underway at New College, accessibility issues are at the forefront. Primary access to the auditorium will now be from the main floor of the building; a lift will make all levels of the auditorium accessible to those with mobility issues; and both AV systems will have audio assist capabilities. As well, both the auditorium and the multi-purpose room have been designed to properly accommodate smudging ceremonies.