Queen’s University Belfast
Central stair in Nordic Oak doubles as seating
The new Student Centre at Queen’s University Belfast brings together student services and the Student Union in a spectacular new building. Designed through collaboration between
Hawkins\Brown and RPP Architects, the building sits at the heart of campus and cleverly bridges the gap between the University’s heritage and future.
An accessible, modern space with an open plan entrance area creates a vibrant hub for students to socialise, engage, collaborate, and access support and advice. The interior exploits the high ceiling and large-scale steel structure where a central staircase doubles as terraced amphitheatre-style seating. Clad in Junckers’ solid Nordic Oak flooring with nosing in contrasting Black Oak to achieve an LRV differential of 30 points, the stairs form a visual and social focus in the building, creating a flexible, infinitely useable space.
“The central social stair is a key design feature that links the spaces on different floors and provides clear, intuitive wayfinding for visitors. The warmth and natural character of the Nordic Oak flooring complimenting the red laminate cladding helps visual orientation running up through the public spaces” said Alan Shields, director, RPP Architecture.
The solid hardwood flooring forms a hard-wearing and long-lasting surface ideal for high traffic areas and the natural warmth of the timber adds to the material beauty of the interior. With strong sustainability credentials, Junckers’ flooring plays a part in the architects’ design to create a building which is more efficient and less costly to operate and maintain, future-proofed for generations to come.
The building also houses a performance studio with Junckers’ sprung SylvaSport Beech flooring and the one-of-a-kind Union Bar which has been fitted with a reclaimed Junckers’ sports floor. With the old line markings intact, the floor has a rustic, industrial look which will hide a multitude of sins in a busy student bar. It was finished with Junckers’ High Performance Friction+ lacquer to provide a slip resistant surface.
The reclaimed floor was sourced with the help of Junckers’ Buy Back Scheme. Junckers connects with flooring contractors who specialise in reclaiming wood flooring by providing details of projects where an old floor needs lifting, as well as acting as liaison between contractors sourcing a floor which can be repurposed. The sports floor fitted in the student bar by Oakvale Wooden Flooring was lifted from a school sports hall in England by Hargreaves Reclaimed Flooring.