RCP at The Spine reached another milestone on Tuesday 21 January when Morgan Sindall Construction held a traditional topping out ceremony to mark reaching the top of the building. RCP president Professor Andrew Goddard spoke at the event with Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson and Morgan Sindall managing director Barry Roberts.
Professor Goddard talked about the RCP’s aims for the building and its significant position at the heart of the new medical and scientific district, the Knowledge Quarter, and thanked everyone involved for the incredible progress the project has made since it was first suggested a few years ago.
Earlier in the day lead officer for RCP at The Spine Professor Cheng-Hock Toh did a radio interview with BBC Radio Merseyside about our plans for the new building, and the topping out was also reported in the Liverpool Echo. The topping out ceremony traditionally celebrates the final beams being put onto the roof of a building, and guests at the ceremony were allowed a special visit up to the 13th floor, then onto the roof for official photos and even a drone video!
Guests were able to enjoy the fantastic views from the top of the building, which will be the highest point in Liverpool. While other buildings in Liverpool are taller and have more floors, The Spine’s position on top of the hill makes it the best vantage point looking down on the city. Once the building is officially open in 2021, staff and visitors will enjoy these views in addition to the benefits of working in and visiting one of the healthiest buildings in the UK.
Architect Rob Hopkins from AHR was also on hand to give an insight into the design of the building and the technical difficulties faced. Inspired by facets of the human body, some of the design features severely tested the technical ability of the companies responsible for making and casting signature features. The major internal pillars were cast with an unusual pitted pattern, and it was the first time the German company making them had cast a nine-metre continuous pattern. The Voronoi glazing panels, meant to look like recurring patterns in nature like the surface of the skin, have been individually produced in Spain, with no two panels recurring, so no room for breakages!
In contrast to the key features produced abroad, there has been a major commitment from Morgan Sindall and Liverpool City Council to ensure that local companies have been employed at the build, with lots of opportunities for new apprenticeships and work experience for local people.
The Spine will be built according to principles established in the WELL Standard, the premier standard for buildings, interior spaces and communities seeking to implement, validate and measure features that support and advance human health and wellness. It consists of seven concepts – air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind. These concepts incorporate a total of 102 features of a building that can be designed to optimise the health of the occupants of the building and create an environment to promote a healthy and happy workforce.