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All Souls College, Oxford

The project:

One of our most interesting and prestigious projects was the refurbishment of the Butler's Pantry at All Souls College.

The college was planned, built and endowed in the 1430s and is one of Oxford's most prestigious historic buildings. All Souls College was founded jointly by Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury and Kings Henry VI. It was built between 1437 and 1443 and was the ninth Oxford college. It is unique in that it has no undergraduates. All its members become Fellows, they undertake research and the supervision of graduate students.

Bettaquip was asked to redesign the pantry to upgrade the finishes and improve the working ergonomics for the Head Butler, Hector Delcuratolo and his hospitality team.

The challenge was to balance the functional and hygienic requirements of the new pantry layout within the character and constraints of this Grade I listed building.

The existing cupboard joinery was carefully modified to incorporate the fitting of stainless steel wall cupboards together with a combination of bespoke stainless steel and Beach Sand coloured solid surface work tops.

The walls were covered with Orchard colour Altro Whiterock cladding and the floor Opus Stone - Ombra by Karndean. These finishes provided durable hygienic finishes whilst enhancing the character and ambience of the Pantry.

Working to the design provided by the structural engineer, an original chimney breast was opened up to create additional storage space. This was a particularly challenging task as steel supports were required to reinforce the structure that had been partly built around a safe, this had to be removed by a specialist team.

The result:

The ergonomics and environmental efficiency of the Pantry were greatly improved through the design and by the incorporation of innovative products such as the Electrolux undercounter refrigeration and the Meiko dishwasher. The Electrolux Ecostore HP Premium refrigerated cabinets have the highest climate (class A) and highest energy efficiency rating (5) whilst the Meiko DV80 Pass-through dishwasher has a built-in heat recovery condenser which saves energy by recycling the steam emissions to heat the incoming water. This process also negates the requirement for a dedicated extract canopy.

From strip out to completion Bettaquip were allotted six weeks of the summer holiday period to carry out the works. The project was handed over on time for the first scheduled event of the new academic year.

The response:   

Head Butler Hector Delcuratolo said "We are very happy with the end result considering the challenges Bettaquip were faced with at the start of the project. Their design made sure that every available space in the room is put to good use enabling the catering team to offer efficient service during the college's daily requirements and when there are special events".