The Undercroft is the multi-use bar and meeting room in Christ Church College, Oxford.

The lighting was designed to celebrate the shapes of the architecture and to integrate the light fittings as much as possible. Special stone capitals hold LED up and down lights, which were developed with Purcell, the architects, and Wells Cathedral Stonemasons. The up lights can make light of any colour or white, to suit the performances and special events that are held in The Undercroft. The down lights are warm white only and are more deeply recessed to prevent glare.

Beer-proof and easily cleaned transparent sheets are incorporated into the stone capitals to protect both the up and downward LEDs. See the Detail photo taken during construction.

SVA Undercroft 1 Warm white everywhere lo res.jpg

All the lighting is operated by easy-to-use controls.

There is lighting under the front of the bar to make if float and this light can also change colour, following the ceiling lighting. The bar itself is lit by pendants and backlighting of the bottle display. The bar is separately controllable so that it can be turned off when not in use to fade into the background.

The space is hired out for conference use. Sometimes bright colours are used, at other times just white or a cooler or warmer shade of white is used to light the wonderful space.


Architect: Purcell

Contractor: Knowles & Son (Oxford) Ltd

Electrical Contractor Monard Electrical Contractors LLP

Special stone capitals to hold lights: Wells Cathedral Stonemasons