A NEW exhibition showcasing some of the University of St Andrews’ finest and most important rooms in miniature has opened at the Gateway Galleries.
And the display at the North Haugh facility will give visitors the chance to catch a rare glimpse of these historic venues.
Model Rooms: History, Life, Architecture is a collaboration between the university’s Museum Collections Unit and Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen.
Replicas of the interiors of eight rarely seen spaces have been painstakingly created by students at the Scott Sutherland School of Architecture and Built Environment and these have been displayed alongside historic photographs, plans and objects.
Visitors can see scale models of the Senate Room, Parliament Hall, the King James Library, St Mary’s College Hall, the Hebdomadar’s Room, the Old Union Diner, the Old Dining Room at University Hall and the Dining Room at St Salvator’s Hall.
Some of Scotland’s most famous architects, including Robert Rowand Anderson, were involved in the design of many of the spaces featured and the exhibition has given the students involved the opportunity of following in their footsteps.
Samuel Penn, lecturer in architecture at the Scott Sutherland School and course leader of the Model Rooms assignment, told the Citizen: “This has been an excellent coursework opportunity for the students and the results really speak for themselves. There is a history of architects making maquettes to understand detail and proportion. It’s an old study tool.
“The craftsmanship required to construct these scale models is of a very high standard, especially when you consider the ornate designs and features of these beautiful rooms.”
University proctor, Professor Peter Clark, added: ‘‘The models allow for the rooms featured to be seen in a new light, free from the furnishings and artworks which usually adorn them.’’
Visitors to Model Rooms can discover much more than just the architectural history of the spaces. Historic objects, including a book donated by Queen Anne in 1612, a 400-year-old scientific instrument, silver used by students at hall dinners and a trunk taken around the world by some of the university’s principals help tell the stories of life inside the rooms and give insights into the events which shaped them.
The controversy of allowing women to study at St Andrews and the need for a disciplinary officer at the university are among a range of varied topics considered in the displays, bringing the spaces to life.
Accompanying the exhibition will be a series of events, including two tours giving the chance to see the rooms themselves.
The exhibition is open weekdays, from 9am until 5.30pm,. and on Saturdays from midday until 4pm until March 5. For more information visit http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/about Museums and Collections/Gateway Galleries/ or contact Matt Sheard, Curatorial Trainee on 01334 461663.