Hilda Besse Building, Oxford



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V.A. Hutchison | Main contractor CBRE


United Kingdon



Floor type

Pattern Flooring - Single Staves

Wood type

Black Oak


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The Hilda Besse building at St Antony’s College, Oxford, one of the country’s best examples of Post-War architecture, has been refurbished by award-winning architectural and heritage consultancy practice Purcell.

As part of a sensitive renovation to enhance the original architecture and ensure the building’s sustainable future, Junckers solid wood flooring was fitted in the famous dining hall and in the servery. Informed by historic drawings and photographs, Purcell specified a dark wooden floor, reverting to the original finish found in the building. Junckers Black Oak plank flooring was fitted in a bespoke geometric pattern designed by the architect, complementing the elaborate ceiling features.

Junckers’ Approved Flooring Contractor V. A. Hutchison Flooring sampled the bespoke pattern on site and created all the joints and cuts with their own bespoke methods, specially adapted for such intricate work. The result is an elegant floor fit for purpose, offering both a grand impression and a durable floor surface.

Junckers Black Oak is made by mimicking the natural process known as ‘bog oak’ where timber left submerged in bog conditions takes on a rich, dark colour. The colour is drawn deep into the wood, unlike a surface stain. This unique method enables sanding and refinishing of the floor without loss of colour. Specifying a solid hardwood floor for the Grade II listed building ensures longevity of both design and use. A Junckers floor has a long lifespan and will last for generations.

Part of the refurbishment and conservation work included improving the building’s sustainable performance as well as the wellbeing of staff and students. A solid hardwood floor from Junckers is one of the most sustainable flooring surfaces available. Junckers has completed EPDs for its wooden floors to ensure all elements of the supply chain, from raw material sourcing to production and distribution, adhere to strict sustainability standards. Wood is naturally low in embodied carbon and can easily be recycled at the end of its long life. Wooden floors contribute to a healthy indoor environment by maintaining an even temperature
and counter-acting static from electrical appliances. All Junckers wood floors carry the Danish Indoor Climate Label, ensuring there are no chemical substances in the flooring which adversely affect the air quality in a room. 

The main contractor for the project was CBRE.

Image credit: CBRE