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Junckers provides ‘sympathetic choice for heritage building’

JUNCKERS Black Oak flooring has been installed as part of the restoration of Paisley Town Hall. Architects Holmes Miller transformed the Grade A listed building into a high-end venue and public space with careful restoration work to preserve the grand Neoclassical architecture, says Junckers.

With a focus on future-proofing the venue in terms of environmental performance and adaptability, Holmes Miller’s design overhauled the existing building by stripping it right back and upgrading services to what is described as modern standards, including replacing the heating and ventilation systems with tempered air fed through concealed ducts hidden beneath the wooden floors, and using destratification fans to recycle warm air, especially useful in the auditorium which has a high ceiling. Accessibility was improved and new functions for previously unused spaces were introduced. As well as a live venue, the town hall now includes a dance studio, café and bar, wedding suites, banqueting, screening room and commercial catering.

Junckers’ flooring was installed in several areas, including the main auditorium where the stage was entirely rebuilt to incorporate a rise-and-fall functionality, says the company. It adds: ‘To introduce more flexibility to the space, the ground floor seating was replaced by a retractable system. The hard-wearing surface of a Junckers’ pre-finished solid hardwood floor is resistant to the wear and tear associated with a retractable system and the sprung quality of the flooring system will remain intact.’

Junckers Black Oak Harmony flooring is said to be identified by Holmes Miller during the design stage analysis as a suitable choice for the heritage building. The two-strip floorboards, also prevalent in the Black Oak Twin Herringbone installed in some areas, give a narrow parquet appearance in keeping with the original flooring and the dark colour is historically appropriate, says the company. Junckers Black Oak is described to mimic the natural process where oak submerged in a bog takes on a dark hue which penetrates the tree trunk. Says Junckers: ’The Black Oak stain is drawn deep into each floorboard which means it can be sanded and refinished without loss of colour. It also means the floor is much more resistant to superficial damage compared to a stained floor- board’. Steven Coulson, associate at Homes Miller added: ‘The flooring was specified owing to a great mix of quality, sustainability credentials and sympathy to the heritage building aesthetic.’

The £22m restoration forms part of Renfrewshire Council’s regeneration programme of Paisley’s historic cultural venues. Upgrading historic buildings, particularly public buildings, is a fast-growing trend towards reuse rather than demolishing and building new. By taking a long-term view to retrofit and restore Paisley Town Hall, the council has secured its sustainable future while remaining sympathetic to its history.
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