Peppers span the stars for Ark event at Greenwich...

The Ark charity dinner has become something of a landmark event in the social calendar. Attracting over 1000 guests and raising fantastic amounts for charity. With the Duchess of York, Jemima Kahn, Elizabeth Hurley and Simon Cowell each sitting at a table of ten that cost £100,000 the event has to be something special and so has become renown for its choice of interesting venues. The Old Royal Naval College is a great baroque masterpiece sitting at the centre of the Greenwich Maritime World Heritage site and the buildings and landscaped park represent a national treasure.

Choosing one of London’s most famous riverside landmarks for the latest event would give a spectacular backdrop but a big problem to the Peppers team. The idea for the event was to span the two ancient buildings with a roof, turning space between into a spectacular venue. Built to house the 1,000 guests, staging for the extravagant entertainment and all the equipment and staff needed to cook and serve a gourmet dinning experience it was quite some space.

Working closely with members of the Royal College’s estates team and the event planner, Peppers drew up a project management and engineering profile scheme to meet the demands of the special environment and the restricted timescale. Including lifting the roof into place with a crane, to rest on specially designed pads the build was completed without a hitch and the event was a great success raising over £15m.