Image of The basement starts to take shape
The basement starts to take shape

Kitchen project is taking shape

Work is well under way on the kitchen extension in Pump Court, with an extensive basement to be complete by Christmas.

Builders have begun excavating the basement which will take up half of Pump Court below ground and house plant rooms, storage and a wine cellar.

It will connect up with a double-height, single-storey kitchen extension and a three-storey extension to Upper Hall, which will improve access to the dining room.

Combining modern energy solutions with historic conservation, it is hoped that the development will be recognised for its sustainability. It will be entirely heated and cooled by a ground source heat pump located in the College grounds and induction cooking, anaerobic digestion systems and sustainable food sourcing are also part of the plans.

Construction of the basement is 'top down' which involves casting concrete slabs at ground level before excavating the earth below.

Architect Paul Vonberg said it was the preferred method for working on projects of this type, involving deep excavation and buildings of age. The Grade I-listed buildings in Pump Court date back to the founding of the Benedictine convent of St Mary and St Radegund in the twelfth century. 

He added: "It's an important stage. By around Christmas we will have the basics of a basement and we will be starting to build the two visible extensions above ground."

The project is on track for completion by the end of July 2022.