Watch Back Webinars | H B Allen Centre, Keble College - The building that appeared to float

28th April 2021

Building height restrictions meant the area for a new development for Keble College in Oxford, had to be made available underground. But with this came the huge challenges of excavating a vast basement, including under the 140-year-old, Grade II listed brick Acland House.

Hear Director Toby Ronalds and Senior Engineer Maxime Chollet describe how the construction of the 14,000m3 basement both under and around Acland House used novel methods of construction to allow the excavation to take place, and at one stage, made the building appear to float over the emerging basement space.

Methods included effectively underpinning the structure at ground floor level with bespoke steel stools and a carefully planned transfer of load from the old to new foundation structure. All of this was carried out with minimal movement and below predicted crack widths in the brickwork.

The result is a beautiful transformation, incorporated fully into its new surroundings and made fit for the new demands placed on it.