by Jo Clarke, Marketing and Communications Officer

We reached another major milestone for The Box this month when we held a ‘Topping Out’ ceremony to mark the structural completion of the building. Here’s the most recent time lapse footage from our web cam which captures the progress being made on site before the event took place.

You can read the full press release about Topping Out here. It was a great event and a real opportunity for us to thank everyone who has been involved with the project to date.

As part of the ceremony, a giant piece of steel signed by many of those in attendance was hoisted up to the top of the new extension. This great piece of video footage from Willmott Dixon’s ‘steel cam’ captures the moment.

You can also hear what some of our key stakeholders had to say in our official Topping Out video.

You can see some images from the event here.

Topping Out Ceremony - September 2018

It’s not known when the tradition of topping out began although some accounts track it as far back as Ancient Egypt when the first pyramid was completed! Over the years it’s a ceremony that has featured some very unusual traditions, including:

  • A fir tree being placed on top of the building to honour anyone who had died during construction, a tree being a symbol of everlasting life
  • A yew branch sprinkled with wine, oil, corn and salt placed on top of the building to appease any spirits who had been disturbed during the building work
  • Placing sheaths of grain on the highest beam to appease the Gods and bring good fortune to the building and its inhabitants
  • Hoisting flags to signal the completion of the frame or to prove patriotic allegiance

As modern buildings of steel have become more common these traditions have been replaced with the signing of a steel beam, hence the reason why we included this in our event.


In other news, we welcomed members of Arts Council England’s (ACE) National Council to our site this month. They chose to hold their autumn meeting in Plymouth, which was very prestigious for the city. While they were here they took the opportunity to visit The Box and the Market Hall in Devonport, two major capital developments ACE is investing in.

You can read the full release here. The images from the visit can also be seen here.

ACE National Council Visit - September 2018