Lady Margaret Hall, Pipe Partridge Building, Oxford


  • Lady Margaret Hall

  • Lady Margaret Hall

The sympathetic and complex construction of high quality student accommodation and undergraduate facilities in keeping with the local architectural style.


Beard was contracted to deliver an authentic, intricate and high quality three-storey accommodation scheme for the College’s undergraduate students. The new ‘Pipe Partridge Building’ was constructed in a neo-Classical L-shape within the College grounds. The construction applies a combination of brick, natural stone banding and lime mortar which blends seamlessly with the architectural style of the neighbouring buildings.

The accommodation provides 64 en-suite study bedrooms over two floors, a ground floor auditorium, seminar room, common rooms, dining room, kitchens, wc facilities and a Dean’s flat on the third floor. The auditorium is the centrepiece of the design, with a domed ceiling and an acoustics system that can be adjusted for a variety of performances from musical recitals to lectures.

The project featured extremely high quality building with intricate detailing inside and out which required craft-intensive construction skills for the stonework, oak floors, wood panelling, arches, domed ceilings and intricate plasterwork. The project involved a core team of nine professional staff from Beard to manage the complex building programme which employed 79 different specialist subcontractors and 90 personnel on site at any one time.


  • A complex project requiring a mix of modern, traditional and highly specialist trade and craft skills
  • Numerous design changes
  • Co-ordination of many different specialist contractors and a large workforce on site
  • Sheer intricacy of the stonework of the building: each of the thousands of stones varied in size and shape


Managing a successful project like this and keeping customers and stakeholders happy required a strong ‘can do’ attitude, particularly when accommodating numerous changes in the design of the building. This approach along with great attention to detail, enabled our project team to remain on track throughout the two-year contract and to deliver an aesthetically pleasing and high quality building. Effective co-ordination of a large on site workforce and careful planning with regard to the sourcing, designing, manufacturing and sequenced delivery of the stones, ensured that construction works were not delayed and the project was delivered on time.

This project demonstrates Beard’s expertise in managing sites close to occupied premises and carrying out complex high quality, craft-intensive building work within and around architecturally sensitive buildings.

“Pipe Partridge was completed in record time and has transformed life for undergraduate students in College.”

Professor Dame Margaret Turner, Lady Margaret Hall Advisory Council



Lady Margaret Hall, Pipe Partridge Building, Oxford

Contract value

£8.4 million


John Simpson and Partners

Contract duration

Two years

Form of contract

JCT Private with Quantities

Procurement Method


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