Bespoke floor for award-winning listed building


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. Our Black Oak plank flooring was fitted in a bespoke geometric pattern, 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.

Our popular 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 ensures longevity of 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. We have completed EPDs for our 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. In addition, wooden floors contribute to a healthy indoor environment by maintaining an even temperature and counter-acting static from electrical appliances. All our 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