Ship In a Bottle – a complex marquee build

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A ship in a bottle

Some marquee builds are trickier than others, and the Fews team are very experienced in overcoming any number of obstacles.

Back in August last year we built a number of very large Igloo marquee structures at the Edinburgh International Festival.  Despite the Covid restrictions on each site, it was a fantastic event and a huge success. However, there was one structure which presented an interesting challenge for our project managers and rigging teams.

The Igloo structure in the Old College Quad was a complex build in an enclosed space.

Underground Tunnels

The first issue was a network of underground tunnels beneath the quad meaning we had to very careful in ensuring there was limited weight burden on vulnerable areas.  In fact, the site had been the focus of considerable archaeological interests and excavations during recent redevelopment of the site.  There’s more information on this here:

Tight Space

The second issue was the very tight space we had to work in, with the 20metre x 50metre Igloo marquee with its 14metre internal height being constructed entirely within the Quad and positioned very carefully to avoid placing weight above the underground tunnels.

Restricted Access

The third was one of very restricted access. The entire Igloo structure, cherry pickers, trucks and other build equipment had to go through a narrow 3.5 metre-wide arched entrance at one end of the Quad, also with very limited parking on the roadside beyond.

It is a testimony to our project planning, site management and careful rigging crews that the structure was positioned perfectly with no damage to the buildings or ground.

To see a large structure built within such a small space made everyone wonder how it got in there. A bit like a ship in a bottle really.

There’s a 360 walkthrough below and a series of photos which show just how tight this was.

Soft Focus
Ryan Buchanan


Igloo Marquee Edinburgh
Igloo Marquee Edinburgh
Igloo Marquee Edinburgh
Igloo Marquee Edinburgh
Igloo Marquee Edinburgh
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