Building a Dome in a Day

Children's Event
14 Mar 2023
St Sepulchre, Holborn Viaduct


The triple dome of St Paul’s Cathedral is one of Christopher Wren’s most complex and awe-inspiring designs. This workshop, for VI form pupils will be a practical hands-on exploration of the Dome’s construction. The participants will build a mini dome (3metres in diameter x 4.5 metres high), primarily using foam blocks and bamboo with lead coloured wrapping paper for the exterior. Some students will be involved in the construction while others will be responsible for the decoration of the interior, and finally, all will gather under the completed structure to celebrate their combined achievement.

The construction will take place in March 2023 as part of the Wren 300 festival in the church of St Sepulchre, Holborn, the largest Parish Church in inner London.

Participants will be from around 10 schools with a strong interest in Design and Technology. The project will be led by led by Chris Wise, Senior Director Expedition Engineering with Catherine Ramsden, Founding Director of the architectural practice Useful Studio and member of the Foster + Partners team who designed the Millennium Bridge.

The workshop is funded by an Ingenious Award 2022 from the Royal Academy of Engineering.

We will begin this daylong session with a visit to St Paul’s Cathedral to experience the wonder of Wren’s Dome construction firsthand. The group will consist of 4 Senior engineers, 10 graduate engineers in the first year of professional employment with c. 80 VI formers from London Diocesan Schools.