Wrought-iron electronic gates have been installed across the entrance (inside the outer doors) at the Porters’ Lodge at Broad Street.
The gates have been hand forged in steel by blacksmith and designer James Price. The brief from the architects, Penwarden Hale, was for a forward-thinking design that complimented the unique heritage setting. James says: ‘The gates combine age-old iron-working techniques with a contemporary design of overlapping clover leaves, which takes its inspiration from the carved stonework designs of the architect Alfred Waterhouse [who designed Balliol’s Broad Street buildings in the 1860s]. The gates took many months to forge and feature a rich language of forged joinery within the design. The different components are hot riveted together and fixed using ancient blacksmithing methods, ensuring the gates speak very much of the hands that have forged them. The gates have been hot zinc sprayed and then painted in very dark grey, a colour which I feel compliments the tactile nature of the ironwork particularly well.’
The lockable electronic gates provide additional security for the College. Current Members can enter the College through the right-hand gate using their University cards, while others continue to enter via the Porters’ Lodge area on the right-hand side of the entrance. On their way out, people go through the other gate. The Porters can open the entrance gate from their desk and both gates can be fully opened as required.
The installation of the gates is the second stage of the refurbishment of the Lodge, following the redesign of the welcome desk, post rooms and Porters’ area, completed in March. A ramp down into the Front Quad for wheelchair access, due to be installed shortly, will complete the project.