Sport’s Pavilion, Master’s Field, Balliol College

Education & Public Sector

Architect: Niall McLaughlin Architects

Client/Owner: Balliol College

Structural Engineer: Smith and Wallwork Engineers

Main Contractor: BAM Construction Ltd

Joinery Company: Xylotek

Internal & Wall Panel Joinery: Ridon

Integrated Lighting: Lowe & Oliver Ltd

Wood Supplier: Inwood Developments Ltd

Interior Supplier: W.L. West & Sons Ltd

Species: Sweet Chestnut (Europe & UK)

Location: Oxford

The pavilion forms part of the Master’s Field development, and sits centrally in the project overlooking the cricket pitch.

The delicate sweet chestnut structure frames panoramic views out of sliding doors that lead onto an elevated covered terrace. Inside, the hall has a sprung floor, timber-lined walls with an acoustic quilt, and enjoys an intricate stacked timber lattice.

A servery sits adjacent to the hall and is connected via a large hatch. This allows for the hall to be used for various catered events as well as sports classes and cricket teas. The pavilion sits atop a two-storey basement which houses a squash court and changing facilities.

The stacked timber ceiling is as much a structural feature as architectural, as it transfers the roof load back down to the timber columns. Structural sizes required and strategies dealing with different movement and timber settlement, shrinkage and expansion were determined through laboratory testing undertaken at Cambridge University.