Unveiling the new Gillis Lecture Theatre and Warburg Music Suite

Monday 24 June 2024
  • Front entrance
  • Gillis Lecture Theatre
  • Gillis Lecture Theatre
  • Warburg Music Room
  • Warburg Music Room
  • Tutorial / Meeting Room
  • Practice Room
  • Richard Gillis and Carolyn Gillis
  • Rosemary Warburg with son Nigel Warburg

A complete renovation and refurbishment of the lower ground rooms of the Bernard Sunley Building has been completed thanks to the generous support of Rosemary Warburg and her late husband Michael Warburg (Balliol 1949) and Richard Gillis (Balliol 1977) and Carolyn Gillis. On 17 June 2024, the donor families were joined by members of the College community to celebrate the official opening of the new spaces.

Since the building’s completion in 1966, Lecture Room XXIII and the Music Room had not been updated, leaving them in poor decorative condition, no longer watertight, and unfit for purpose. The much-needed renovation has transformed these spaces into the newly named Gillis Lecture Theatre and the Warburg Music Suite, making them accessible, high-tech, and elegant.

In the short time since their opening, both rooms have already demonstrated their tremendous value to the Balliol community. The Gillis Lecture Theatre has hosted a range of events, including academic lectures and outreach talks for prospective students. The Warburg Music Room, with a new baby-grand piano, now has the capacity to hold recitals – an option that was previously impossible. Additionally, the renovation has repurposed existing spaces to create two individual practice rooms, each equipped with a new piano, and a small tutorial room cleverly fashioned from former cupboards.

The College would like to extend its sincere thanks to the donors for their transformational gifts.