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QMUL’s new Graduate Centre reaches ‘topping out’ milestone

Tuesday 8 March 2016


QMUL Principal, Professor Simon Gaskell, Council Chairman, Sir Nicholas Montagu, and Queen Mary Students’ Union President, Carolina Mantzalos were among the guests as our contractors Bouygues UK held a ‘topping out’ ceremony to mark the Graduate Centre at the Mile End campus reaching its maximum height.

Topping out ceremonies celebrate the placing of the final beam at the highest point of a project. Guests were taken up to the seventh floor of the Graduate Centre on Tuesday 1 March, and enjoyed views from Canary Wharf to the Gherkin and beyond before going on a tour of the building. 

The Principal thanked our academics for their ideas and vision for enhanced activity, and staff, designers, artists and contractors for their contributions in getting us to this milestone.

He commented: “It will be a wonderful place to work and study. It will, I’m sure, be a hive of really productive and exemplary academic activity from the School of Economics and Finance and from colleagues who are leading the ambition for this to be the focal point for our graduate activities.”

Simon Gaskell, Nick Montagu (left) and Carolina Mantzalos (right) are shown round the building by a contractor

Update on works 
The next milestone as work on the Graduate Centre progresses will be the water tightness of the building in April. Bouygues UK continue to make progress with external cladding, as well as walls and fitting out internally. All construction work is scheduled to complete by September.

Trenching works also continue to lay down the heating pipework from the combined heating and power plant (CHP). The pipes will connect the new Energy Centre with the Graduate Centre and other buildings on campus to provide a more efficient and sustainable source of energy. The trenching works heading towards the east side of the campus have progressed as follows:

  • Geography Building towards Library Square – completed (awaiting wall reinstatement works)
  • Library Square towards Bancroft Building –  completed
  • Bancroft Building towards Fielden House – in progress
  • Fielden House towards Joseph Priestly Building – start dates to be confirmed.

Paving around the Energy Centre in Geography Square is now complete. The hoardings have been adjusted so that the next phase of the paving works can commence towards the Graduate Centre site. Pedestrian access to and from Fogg Building and emergency escape routes will be maintained. The landscaping around this area, including lighting and benches, is expected to complete in line with the external works programme within the Engineering Building and People’s Palace courtyard.

If you have any questions about the Graduate Centre, please contact Sean O’Hagan at s.ohagan@qmul.ac.uk or call 020 7882 8891. Colleagues are also encouraged to make full use of the Estates and Facilities helpdesk on 020 7882 2580 or estates-helpdesk@qmul.ac.uk, and the fortnightly stakeholder meetings that take place every second Wednesday at 2pm in the Facilities and Estates meeting room E223a in the Queens’ Building at the Mile End campus (next meeting Wednesday 24 February). If you are holding meetings at the Mile End campus and have concerns about the possible impact of the building work on your event, please contact Theresia for advice.

To find out more about the Graduate Centre, visit: www.qmul.ac.uk/investing-campus/graduate-centre 

Views from the top of the building extend to the City and beyond
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