Maggie’s Centre Barts Celebrates Topping Out

Topping OutLondon, United Kingdom: May 18, 2017 — Cancer charity Maggie’s and building company Sir Robert McAlpine, yesterday celebrated a construction milestone for the Centre at St Bartholomew’s hospital as construction reached its full height. The event was marked with a traditional topping out ceremony including a piper, the nailing of an evergreen bough to the highest point of the building and ‘noggins of ale’.

The new Centre, designed by Steven Holl Architects, is sited in central London adjacent to St. Batholomew’s Hospital in Historic Smithfield.  The three story building is envisioned as “a vessel within a vessel within a vessel”.  The structure, now entirely visible, is a branching concrete frame.  The outer layer, next to be installed, consists of matte white glass with colored glass fragments recalling “neume notation” of Medieval music from the 13th century.  The open interior allows diffused colored natural light to wash over the spaces lined with bamboo, changing over the seasons.  A public roof garden with flowering trees tops the building with a serene space for yoga, Tai Chi, and other activities.  The Centre will reach substantial completion in December, followed by an opening ceremony in the Spring of 2018.

“Here in the center of dense historic London, soon this little gift of light and space will open for the soul,the spirit and the poetic dimensions of life!” – Steven Holl

With advances in medicine and earlier diagnosis the chances of surviving cancer long term is double that of 40 years ago. As the number of people living with cancer increases, so does the need for practical and emotional support to cope with the challenges that living with and beyond cancer brings.  Working in partnership with Barts Health NHS Trust, the new Maggie’s Centre will offer a way of living well with cancer for the 5,500 new cancer diagnoses Barts sees each year.

Maggie’s relies on voluntary donations to support and grow its network of Centres across London and the UK and to develop its unique, high quality programme of support.  For further information and to ensure Maggie’s continues to provide its programme of support please visit and help make the biggest difference possible to people living with cancer and their family and friends across the capital. 

Learn more about Maggie’s Centres