London North, UK - We have acquired the wood flooring and flagpoles from the Commonwealth Institute - an iconic London building designed by Robert Matthew of Robert Matthew, Johnson-Marshall & Partners. The building was opened in 1962 by Queen Elizabeth II and showcased the trade among commonwealth countries. In 2002 the Commonwealth Institute was closed, although it was listed Grade II by English Heritage which regarded it as the second most important modern building in London after the Royal Festival Hall, and is currently undergoing an £80m refit as the new Design Centre museum.
The flagpoles stood prominently on the pavement of Kensington High Street outside the Institute. They are 10m high coated aluminium topped with brass finials and were fixed to brackets cast into concrete footings, and hinged like folding masts on a sailing boat. They have great British provenance.
The wood flooring installed in the Institute is believed to have all been imported from Commonwealth countries. Architectural Forum currently has the following reclaimed wood flooring from the Commonwealth Institute:
1,500 square metres of opepe wood strip - origin West Africa
200 square metres of karri and jarrah woodblock - origin Western Australia
300 square metres of teak woodblock - origin South East Asia
60 square metres of tulipwood woodblock - origin probably Canada
There is also a large quantity of softwood available which is marked 'Seaboard' for the Seaboard Lumber Co of Vancouver, one of British Columbia's main logging companies in 1962. All this wood is believed to be prime quality first growth irreplaceable indigenous forest timber.
Architectural Forum: Own a flag pole with Great British provenance
Story Type: News