University College – New Buttery, Oxford

  • University College new buttery 5

  • University College new buttery 4

A major refurbishment of a Grade I-listed building within Oxford’s historic University College creating a brand new two-storey elliptical building with a new buttery, kitchen and dining facilities.


This scheme involved a mix of new build, refurbishment and restoration within an occupied college in Oxford’s busy city centre. Beard created a two-storey extension in the grounds of the Master’s garden housing new kitchen facilities catering for 500 students, a buttery, and dining and function rooms. As well as restoring the historic external fabric of the existing kitchen building, works included extending the kitchen and new offices.

Beard also refurbished and fitted-out the student bar and undertook external works to the library courtyard, building new stone steps and a disabled access ramp.

The project involved the installation of a new foundation, with archaeologists and conservation officers working alongside the Beard project team.

Key features of the scheme included:

  • Natural ashlar stone on the ground floor
  • Oak cladding to the first floor
  • Lead roof with a glazed lantern at its centre
  • Oak flooring inside
  • Domed acoustic ceiling in the first floor function room


  • Access to the site was via a four foot pedestrian walkway, leading off a narrow lane in constant use. Everything had to be lifted into the site over the Master’s garden wall, part of a Grade I-listed structure.  Materials and equipment, including a piling rig and steel frame sections, had to fit through this narrow doorway


Careful programming of works enabled the team to minimise works disruption to students, staff and the Oxford city centre. This also involved strategic scheduling and sequencing of deliveries and moving and storing materials quickly.


Steve Lambourne, Beard’s site manager, really deserves recognition for his abilities and skills.”

Elizabeth Crawford, Domestic Bursar, University College, Oxford


University College

Contract value

£2.7 million


Freeland Rees Roberts

Quantity surveyor

McBains Cooper

Contract duration

16 months

Form of contract

JCT 2005

Procurement Method


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