The Queen’s College – Kitchen Remodelling, Oxford

  • Queens College Kitchen

  • Queens College Kitchen

  • Queens College Kitchen

A significant expansion of an ancient basement in a Grade-1 listed Oxford college building to create kitchen and dining facilities.


This technically complex expansion involved the creation of new kitchens beneath the historic West Wing and out under the ancient Back Quad without disrupting academic activities.  Beard extended an existing basement area and created extra dining areas on the first floor. The works involved the demolition and subsequent recasting of the existing ground floor slab.   Excavation work and underpinning had to be carried out beneath the structure to existing basement walls and an entire four-storey elevation, without disturbing the building.  The new basement space provides the College with commercial quality kitchens, prep area, pastry kitchen, chill room and a main kitchen.


  • Working in a confined city centre site with difficult access through a narrow 4ft doorway
  • Excavating under an occupied building and dealing with a watching brief from archaeologists and English Heritage, required a vigilant approach to health and safety, care to minimise disruption, and strong communication with all interested parties
  • Addressing rot and infestation issues
  • Deliveries and loading required careful planning and co-ordination with college and city authorities


Confined access required careful planning and coordination with college and city authorities, for deliveries and loading. Although a tower crane helped resolve issues of heavy-lifting and waste removal in the first project, subsequent phases were more difficult with the team resorting to mini excavators, conveyors and powered wheelbarrows to remove waste.

With the discovery of rot and infestation, our project team increased activity in other areas to avoid programme delays while remedial work was undertaken.

“It was extremely reassuring to have a local company undertaking this demanding and complex project.  Beard understands the difficulties of working in an Oxford College and the special problems this has, expectially when the work took place in the very heart of the College whilst it was also fully operational in its academic activities.  Their understanding and co-operation has been second to none.”

Dr Linda Irving-Bell, Bursar, The Queen’s College


The Queen’s College, Oxford

Contract value

£6 million


Berman Guedes Stretton

Contract duration

80 weeks

Form of Contract


Procurement Method

Competitive Tender

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