Kresen Kernow by Purcell


A large expanse of our Nordic Oak Boulevard flooring forms part of this extraordinary new archive and research facility in Cornwall. Designed by Purcell, the UK’s leading heritage and conservation architects, the centre is a landmark development comprising public search, exhibition, education and workshop spaces.

Set within a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Conservation Area, Kresen Kernow is housed in formerly derelict brewery buildings, rebuilt and redeveloped whilst carefully conserving many of the historic original features. The new, purpose-built facility brings together a staggering 1.5 million manuscripts, books and documents relating to the history, people, places and culture of Cornwall, dating back to 1150. The centre also includes a new two-storey environmentally controlled archive store with many, many miles of racking.

Purcell retained many of the buildings’ remaining structures and restored elements of the interior. Based on historic records, original cast iron columns were salvaged and incorporated in a new steel frame and brick gable walls at high levels were reinstated. For the floor, the original granite flagstones were carefully lifted and re-laid, installed alongside Junckers’ solid wide board oak flooring in a white-pigmented Nordic finish.

A technically challenging installation, flooring contractor Tre Concepts had to work within an accuracy of 0.6mm to allow for the varying sub floor levels as well as the difference in levels of the granite slabs. Around the rectangular sections of granite, the 185mm wide floorboards were cut lengthwise to form frames around the slabs as per the architect’s design.

David Burne, Senior Architect at Purcell and the project lead said: “Solid hardwood flooring was chosen as it is a sustainable, natural product, with a long life and low maintenance requirements. The Nordic Oak was selected due to its warm appearance and light colour characteristics which complement the tones of the historic granite slabs adjacent, whilst enhancing the natural illumination of the main exhibition space and visitor reception area.”

The 20.5mm thick solid wood floor forms a durable surface for a public space and a fitting backdrop to the strong visual appeal of the interior. A floor from Junckers can be sanded and refinished up to ten times. A long lifespan, PEFC and FSC certified and produced in a CO2 neutral facility, means specifying a Junckers floor is an environmentally sound option.

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