Something Fierce

From 1964 ‘Something Fierce’ emerged in Essex – a new University determined to look to the future and break with tradition.

Something Fierce explores the bold, brutalist sixties architecture of the Colchester Campus and the academic vision that it upheld. The founding Vice-Chancellor Albert Sloman might have provided the blueprint for the University of Essex, but it was the students who shaped the University and made it their own. The tools for them to activate Essex were provided: progressive lecturers working at a freer, more daring and experimental university whose integrated architecture brings everyone together for study and socialising. With the components in place for a forward-thinking university, this sometimes disobedient university has been defined by 50 years of students thinking for themselves.

The exhibition includes architect’s model and plans, examples of our carefully made concrete, photographs – and archival film footage, ephemera and student memorabilia from the May ’68 prostests on campus.

The Hexagon, one of the iconic buildings built at the birth of the University, hosts this exhibition, curated by Professor Jules Lubbock and Jess Twyman.

Come along and find out more about what’s beautiful about brutalism.

Admission is by appointment. Please ring or email Jess Twyman on 01206 872074 or