Anti-slip timber decking brings a natural aesthetic to Stansfeld Park, Oxford
Around 1,450 linear metres of Marley Antislip Plus Smooth decking was supplied to complement the Wood Centre for Innovation and Science Oxford Centre at Stansfeld Park. The decking was used to provide safe and attractive walkways and amenity space for the outdoor areas of the innovation centre.
The project, which comprised the construction of two buildings in one and development of the outdoor space, was designed by ADP Architecture, with construction led by Beard Construction.
As an independent charity, The Oxford Trust’s mission is to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise. Stansfeld Park forms a cornerstone of the Trust’s activities which aim to support discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship by inspiring young minds and providing much-needed facilities for start-up companies and scientific research.
Creating an immersive natural environment with anti-slip timber decking
The project specification required excellent safety characteristics around the site, and aesthetic appeal was also essential. The Oxford Trust wanted the development to blend in with the local scenery and provide something of an “escape” from the hustle and bustle of Oxford — for both children and entrepreneurs alike.
For the rear of the park, this was achieved through using Marley’s renowned Antislip Plus Smooth decking to create a beautiful, natural decking area that people can enjoy in sunnier months, but which will also be usable in wet weather.
Matt Francis, project operations director at The Oxford Trust explained: “The space, from envisioning to delivery of the project, works because of the natural setting of the building within the woodland and pondscape. Standing on site now it looks and feels incredible, it’s brilliant and the decking ties everything together beautifully.”
He continued: “Sitting at the back of our reception cafe area and reaching out into the trees with views over our ponds, our new [Marley Antislip Plus Smooth] decking has become the centrepiece in terms of relating the building to the natural environment that it sits in. It allows visitors to the innovation centre to be enjoy the woodland rather than feel like they’re in an office block just off the ring road in Oxford.”
Bolstering health and safety with anti-slip decking
Since the outdoor area is multi-purpose with high footfall, health and safety was a major concern. The space also needed to be weather-resistant and able to withstand heavy use.
Due to the steep drops around the back of the development, it was also imperative that the area ties into the building’s fire-exit strategy, with decking wrapping around the property. This meant that the decking area had to exceed the HSE’s minimum requirements for non-slip surfaces and provide reassurance for both the centre and its visitors.
To meet the demanding specifications of the decking area, Beard Construction went to leading decking installation specialist, Deckbuilders (UK) Ltd, with which the company has a long-established working relationship.
Discussion between the two parties led to the selection of Marley Antislip Plus Smooth decking. It was chosen as the ideal product for the project since it combined the aesthetics, safety, and cost-competitiveness that were required by both The Oxford Trust and the architectural design.
Having used Marley Antislip Plus Smooth on similar projects in the past, Deckbuilders (UK) Ltd was confident that the product would be well suited for the Stansfeld Park project.