The University of Oxford’s Merton College was the location for GL events UK’s latest install. This historic educational institution and its neighbouring surrounds presented several unusual obstacles for its installation crew to overcome.

Merton College had a need to provide relief space for students to dine and socialise whilst safely adhering to social distancing guidelines. By creating this environment within the confines of the college, the university aimed to ensure that students had an inviting space in which to relax, even if stricter measures were to be enforced within the wider grounds of the university and the city.

Standing at more than 700 years old, the architecture of Oxford’s Merton College is extremely sensitive. The only access to the site was through the sports field of neighbouring Christchurch and even then, any installation would have to be delicately craned over respective boundary fencing.

A great deal of tact would therefore be required to achieve this installation and owing to the team’s diligent planning, GL events was able to provide necessary assurances to Christchurch with regards to the protection of its lawn and grounds.

GL events provided a 12m x 35m structure, which was craned into place and erected in just two days. In order to make this space inviting to students, the structure was then embellished with a full interior fit-out, encompassing linings, interior lighting, floor coverings, furniture, HVAC and external lighting, making it suitable for year-round-use.