Projects – Installation of Oak Dome

Oxford University




Lifting & Positioning of Timber Dome

Project Overview 

Radius Group recently completed a remarkable project at Oxford University, collaborating with Novum Structures on the installation of a stunning oak glulam dome. This innovative timber structure is set to crown the atrium of the new Stephen A. Schwarzman Centre for the Humanities Building, constructed by Laing O’Rourke.

Lifting Expertise

Our team at Radius Group was entrusted with the critical task of lifting and positioning the dome. Radius planned the lift in its entirety, supplying bespoke Lift Plan documentation, specialist site personnel, and all lifting accessories required for the works. We designed and supplied a bespoke equalising rigging arrangement, mitigating any offset loading, and resulting in a flawless lift and placement.

The lift was planned in 3D, allowing the gross lift weight and working ranges to be calculated with a high degree of accuracy. This was key to maximising the safe lifting capacity of the site-based tower crane, and removing the requirement for additional lifting equipment (such as a heavy mobile crane with luffing jib). This project demonstrates our commitment to precision and excellence in lifting solutions across a wide range of site conditions & equipment types.

Technical Details

The dome’s nodes are interconnected through a series of mortise and tenon joints, reinforced with screwed steel plates at the rear of each node. The structure was meticulously pre-assembled on the ground and subsequently lifted as a single unit via a bespoke lifting frame. The rigging arrangement introduced bespoke-manufactured tri-plates, to equalise tension across the 8no lifting points.

Final Touches

Following the successful installation of the dome, Novum Structures & Coulson Building Group will complete the project by adding toughened glazing and oak Brise Soleil, enhancing both the aesthetic and functional qualities of the structure.


This project highlights Radius Group’s capability to handle complex lifting operations with precision and expertise. Our involvement in the installation of the oak glulam dome at Oxford University stands as a testament to our skill in delivering bespoke lifting solutions for unique architectural projects.

Our thanks to Novum Structures for their support and collaboration, and the site team at Laing O’Rourke for their assistance in facilitating this high-profile lift.

For more info on our Contract Lift Services click here

Or give us a call to discuss how we can support your next project 01604 622 865

Just wanted reiterate our thanks to you and your team for their brilliant work on site delivering the project on time, look forward to working with you in the future.

Justin JohnsonBrush Transformers

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Radius Group are a dedicated team of experienced site specialists backed by an industry-leading technical department. We offer a comprehensive ‘turnkey’ service, from initial consultation to project completion.

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