A picture of Havel's Place - a table surrounding a tree, with two chair, on a paved area


Havel's Place, in University Parks, has been restored using a special wood

Published: 12 March 2019


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Joiners have been at work in the Parks to restore the furniture at Havel’s Place.

The installation is one of several around the world that are dedicated to the memory of Vaclav Havel, the author, human rights activist and former President of Czechoslovakia and the Czech Republic.

Originally added to the Parks in 2014, it includes two chairs and a small table built around a young Linden tree, and is meant to provide a modest place for rest and contemplation.

The wooden parts of the table and chairs have suffered badly from exposure to the elements in the last few years.

Their replacements, however, should last much longer as they are made from Accoya, a high-tech softwood that has been treated with a non-toxic preservative (via an acetylisation process) to make it extremely resistant to rot – indeed, it is guaranteed to last 50 years.

Locating Havel’s Place: In proximity to Lady Margaret Hall in the north-east corner of the Parks, where there is the pond. Havel's Place is located to the west of the pond, overlooking the River Cherwell and beyond.