Monthly Archives: October 2015

Sadie is Appointed National Infrastructure Commission Member - 30-10-2015


dRMM Co-Founding Director Sadie Morgan has been selected to be a member of the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC). The NIC, which was launched by the Chancellor of the Exchequer this morning in York, is being led by former Cabinet minister Lord Adonis.

The NIC is an independent body set up to determine Britain’s infrastructure priorities and will hold governments to account for their delivery. Lord Adonis has pledged £100 billion in infrastructure spending by 2020. Along with six other esteemed members, Sadie will contribute to a report at the start of each five-year Parliament, offering recommendations for priority infrastructure projects.

Sadie’s twenty-year career in the construction industry includes prestigious roles such as the Presidency of the Architectural Association in 2013 and her recent appointment as Design Chair for High Speed 2 (HS2). In 2014, Sadie was shortlisted for the AJ Woman Architect of the Year award, and in 2015 won the CBI First Women Award.

Wood Blocks – Housing for London - 16-10-2015

Wood Blocks


dRMM has been named one of ten winners in the New London Architecture (NLA) New Housing Ideas competition. The NLA asked contributors to provide new and inventive solutions to the housing shortage crisis in London.

dRMM’s winning proposal, Wood Blocks, imagines a revolutionary new housing typology. Shell and core residential – adapting a tried and tested development model from office buildings to housing. By excluding internal fit-outs the cost (to the developer/house-builder) of building new homes was reduced by up to 40%, and the duration of construction was reduced by 25% – delivering faster, cheaper housing. Just as importantly, this typology gave Londoners more autonomy in creating homes they really wanted.

“Our response to the housing shortage is to build in engineered timber,” said dRMM co-founding director Alex de Rijke. “This presents really affordable, sustainable housing which is fast to construct. It’s meant for people who actually need housing – I’m not referring to a ‘second home’ to rent. I mean those who are first on the ladder. Really anybody who wants to build a modern, healthy house without having to endure massive expenditure and mortgages on crumbling brick Victoriana”


NLA winner


Maggie’s Oldham – dRMM Submits Designs for Planning - 08-10-2015

Maggie's Oldham


Maggie's Plan

dRMM Architects and Maggie’s – the charity that provides free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends – have applied for planning permission to bring a new Maggie’s Centre to Oldham.

Built within the grounds of The Royal Oldham Hospital, the new Centre will complement the encology clinical care offered by the hospital. It will be the charity’s second Centre in Greater Manchester, following in the footsteps of Foster’s Maggie’s at The Christie Hospital.

A Maggie’s Centre can be likened to a house; ours is a house full of surprises. The building hovers over a proposed garden, supported on very slender columns. The garden offers ‘open air rooms’ framed by pine and birch trees, with a reflecting pool of rainwater discovered underneath the building.

From this central oasis trees grow up through the building, bringing nature into the interior. The building is about content, not form. On entering the deliberately simple timber box over a bridge, the visitor is confronted with space, light, trees and unexpected views down to the garden pool below, up to the sky, and out to the Pennine horizon.

The simultaneous need for privacy and collectivity is met with discreet meeting rooms and niches carved from a ‘thick’ wall, in the otherwise completely open plan interior space, planned around the central lightwell. The materials are dRMM’s characteristic engineered timber and glass, and the outside reflects the presence and colours of the garden.

Maggie’s Chief Executive, Laura Lee said, “A cancer diagnosis and treatment brings with it tough questions and difficult emotions which can leave many feeling isolated. The programme of support that we will be offering at Maggie’s Oldham will help to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of people with cancer across the region.

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with the Royal Oldham Hospital and dRMM Architects on this project. The Centre, designed by dRMM, is built around a sloping garden, offering rooms full of light and garden views creating a calm and uplifting environment for everyone that visits the Centre. Maggie’s Oldham will be our second in the North West following in the footsteps of Maggie’s at The Christie which is due to open in early 2016. Submitting our planning application is an exciting step forward in bringing a Maggie’s Centre to Oldham and in fulfilling our ambition to provide the highest quality cancer support to the people of the North West.”

Maggie’s Oldham has been made possible by the invaluable generosity of the Stoller Charitable Trust, which has fully funded the Centre.

Success at the Structural Timber Awards - 07-10-2015


Last night dRMM’s Sky Health and Fitness Centre won the award for innovation at the Structural Timber Awards for the 4.5t ‘Superbeam’ developed by ARUP  as part of the engineered timber structure for the building.

dRMM collaborated closely with Arup in the design of the Health and Fitness Centre, carefully composing a unique structural arrangement of glue laminated bifurcated timber columns and beams and cross-laminated timber (CLT) perimeter walls and floors.  Internally all the structural timber is left exposed which adds a richness of texture and sculptural form.  Naturally lit from a long west-facing glazed façade, the spaces are bright and take advantage of the views across the Sky campus. The timber façade material provides an alternative texture to the metallic buildings surrounding, while the western façade plays back an analogy of the television screen with glimpses of the activity going on inside.

The Sky Health & Fitness Centre was designed and delivered in just 17 months – the superstructure took only 26 days to erect. dRMM are proud to have produced a building which testifies to the beauty and efficiency of engineered timber, and which offers outstanding facilities for the well-being of the Sky community. The project was also highly commended in the Project of the Year category.