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Title Only: Carvorius Room
There’s a lift under here somewhere!

This project presented two completely different challenges, both requiring vertical transportation. One of these, to provide disabled access in the Stephen Hawking Building, was easily solved by way of a platform lift as a ‘proper’ lift was deemed not to be necessary.

The other, to provide a means of moving ‘goods’ between the Basement storage area and the Carvonius Room above, was not so easy. The upper level was to be used out of term time to entertain visitors, who would initially have dinner in the room, then stroll around the Grounds before returning for dancing, etc. The room was to start out laid as a conventional dining area, however, while the guests were enjoying other areas of the College, the furniture would be magically removed in part to create a dance floor and a grand piano would be moved into the room. The size of the piano precluded horizontal movement from another area, therefore the solution was a lift between the two levels.

Goods lifts and dining rooms are not a good combination, so it was necessary to conceal the lift when not in use. The solution was a scissor lift, complete with a car on top of the platform, with an infill panel to the upper floor over the full area of the platform, attached to the car’s roof as it rises and lowers. The levelling accuracy of the lift itself was specified as ±4mm, with that of the infill panel ±2mm with a maximum gap around the panel of 4mm as it had to be suitable for high heeled shoes amongst other things.


The Master and Fellows of
Gonville and Caius College

Fulcrum Consulting



One scissor lift and one platform lift


Commissioned by:

Lift Contractor:

Lift Value:



West Road, Cambridge

Stephen Hawking Building