Live Design Blog Archive
Cover It Up Treads Carefully at the Sheldonian

Cover It Up Treads Carefully at the Sheldonian


London, UK based draping specialists Cover It Up was engaged by production company Partytechture to diligently black out 40 large windows at Oxford's Sheldonian Theatre, a Grade 1 Listed Building that was utilised to stage one element of the 2010 SKOLL World Summit event.

The Sheldonian was built in 1664-68 for the University of Oxford, based on a design by Sir Christopher Wren. It is acknowledged as significantly important in terms of the classical influence it had upon other Oxford buildings, and as well as being a functional space for the University, it's also used for music recitals and other events and is available for private hires.

Cover It Up's Elliot Stennett says, "It's a great tribute to the skills and dexterity of our crew to be asked back for the third year to help prepare this very special building for the conference section of the event. It takes a good deal of patience and a real respect for your working environment to accomplish successfully".

The magnificent U-shaped building's main windows circle the top - or third - level of the venue's main hall seating sections. In order for the projections in the presentation area below to be optimised, these windows required careful blacking out.

The windows measure approximately 2.5 metres high by 2 metres wide, but because it is an historic building, they all vary slightly. The blackout cloths - all made from white dimout material - were painstakingly cut to size and mounted on auto-poles with rubber feet. The drapes were then fitted to the contours of the windows with 2 x 1 inch battening strips - as nothing can actually touch the fabric of the room.

The Cover It Up team also clad all the wood used in the hanging operation with material as well, so all surfaces were soft. It took a 3 person crew about 4 hours to complete the task on site.

Cover It Up also undertook a similar blackout operation needing care and attention for the Black Ball - in aid of the "Keep A Child Alive" charity - at St John's Church in Smith Square, London SW1. This involved 20 windows the largest of which is arched and about 7 metres high and 8 metres wide, and Cover It Up dispatched a team of 8 for the event.

For more press info. on Cover It Up, please contact Louise Stickland on +44 (0)1865 202679/+44 (0)7831 329888 or Email ‘[email protected]'. To contact Cover It Up direct, call +44 (0)20 726 7900 or check

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.