A courtyard café and learning centre at the RVC’s Camden campus has attracted the attention of the architectural correspondent of The Guardian.

A courtyard café and learning centre at the RVC’s Camden campus has attracted the attention of the architectural correspondent of The Guardian.

The Lightwell courtyard, which opened in May, includes a “pod” study and discussion areas overlooking a café. The courtyard also features the skeletons of an elephant and a polar bear, along with skulls of a range of creatures.

During his review of the building, The Guardian’s Jonathan Glancey wrote: “I am sitting in a sun-filled courtyard, sipping coffee in a raised plywood pod, and looking down at the skeleton of a two-year-old African elephant. From this vantage point, I can make out two marks in the creature’s skull, showing how it met its brutal end two centuries ago: a spear through the head. Elsewhere, in tall glass cases, there is the skeleton of a polar bear, arranged in a sitting position as if waiting to be brought a coffee.”

He also wrote: “This delightful spot is one of the most inspiring new squares in Britain: a spacious courtyard at the heart of the RVC. This unexpected space has the feel of one of those compact yet incident-packed piazzas you might stumble across in a historic Italian town.”

The design of the Lightwell was led by Rupert Cook, a director at Architecture PLB of London and Winchester. Commenting on the courtyard and its contents, Mr Cook told Vetsonline: “In addition to the new architecture, the college has a fascinating collection that deserves to be more accessible.  Many of the items can be touched so it’s a very visceral experience. And some of the pieces put Damian Hirst to shame.”

Read the full review here.

 

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