The main dormitories were designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei and were constructed in the 1960s, but they have recently undergone renovations. Replete with balconies, proximity to main buildings, courtyards, communal areas, equipped lounges, and their own special charm, there is little to complain about New College housing—though, of course, some may disagree.
Most first-years begin at the social and communal Pei Complex, which is made up of three courts. Pei fosters social interaction thanks to its unique design and multiple common areas. The courts border a central area known as Palm Court, which is the heart of social activity at New College and where most large outdoor gatherings are held. The "letter" dorms are where mostly second- and third-year students live. Many complain about the corners that were cut in the building process—none of the rooms are equipped with overhead lighting, and the kitchenettes have neither stoves nor ovens. The Dort and Goldstein residences, commonly abbreviated as “Dortstein,” are quieter, mostly inhabited by upperclassmen, and popular for their privacy. Both of these options are well-suited to students who already have formed a solid friend group and are more concerned with solitude than socialization. B-Dorm is located on the West Side of campus and is unanimously considered the shabbiest of the housing options. Still, because of its cultural charm, comparatively low price, and proximity to other facilities and the bayfront, it continues to be popular among students.