Monthly Archives: December 2017

Dear friends and collaborators, thank you for a wonderful year - 21-12-2017


Dear friends and collaborators,

In spring, we welcomed the opening of Maggie’s Oldham, our very special, timber cancer care centre.


In summer, new residents moved into Faraday House, our striking, golden apartments at Battersea Power Station.


In autumn, we received the Stirling prize for Hastings Pier.


Next summer, we start construction on Wick Lane and Charlton WorkStack, two distinct mixed-use projects that reimagine London’s workspace.


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Thank you for a wonderful year. Our studio will be closed from the 25 December 2017 – 1 January 2018. We wish you a joyful holiday and an extraordinary 2018.


Alex de Rijke speaking on Maggie’s at Wood in Architecture in Milan - 20-12-2017


“The use of wood at Maggie’s is part of a bigger design intention to reverse the norms of hospital architecture, where clinical, institutionalised environments and management procedures can make patients feel dispirited and disempowered.”

dRMM cofounder professor Alex de Rijke, presented Maggie’s Oldham at ‘Wood in Architecture’ in Milan, a seminar jointly organised by American Hardwood Council (AHEC) and The Plan Magazine.

Alex was joined by Alison Brooks, Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects presenting the Smile, and Andrew Laurence, Director at Arup who presented the Warner Stand.

When asked, why wood? Alex responded “In wood there is hope, humanity, scale, warmth, and nature’s clever plan to absorb carbon. Wood is a non-toxic, versatile, benign, anti-carcinogenic material. People like wood, but steel and concrete are the industry default.

Having pioneering engineered timber construction since 2000, I was delighted to be able to invent and develop cross-laminated hardwood through dRMM’s collaboration with AHEC and ARUP for Endless Stair in 2013. A key new material which outperformed existing cross-laminated timber was the result.

For Maggie’s Oldham, dRMM re-present this new material in an integrated design for a public building, carrying a message for cancer care and for environmentally sophisticated architecture. In a didactic display of engineered timber and glass construction, all of the walls and roof are visibly structured and form an exquisite natural finish internally.

Externally the building is draped in corrugated, heat-treated wood, like a surreal theatrical curtain. Inside and out, whether structure, furniture or thermally-modified cladding, the timber used is American tulipwood; a prolific fast-growing deciduous Magnolia tree made noble here by skilful manipulation.

Maggie’s Oldham is the first cross-laminated hardwood building in the world.”

For more on Maggie’s Oldham see this link: 

Photography by Giovanni Nardi and AHEC


dRMM, AHEC and Arup collaborated to create hardwood cross-laminated timber for the Endless Stair LDF installation exhibited outside the Tate Modern in 2013.


An early sketch of Maggie’s Oldham, designed by dRMM, the centre is predicted as a contender for the 2018 Stirling Prize.


“Clinical, institutionalised environments and management procedures can make patients feel dispirited and disempowered.” – Alex de Rijke


Professor Alex de Rijke, a founder and director of dRMM and the architect of the 2017 Stirling Prize winning Hastings Pier.


Alex was joined by Andrew Laurence, Director at Arup presenting the Warner Stand and Alison Brooks, Principal and Creative Director of Alison Brooks Architects who presented the Smile.


The Guardian picks dRMM’s Maggie’s Centre Among Best Architecture - 11-12-2017


‘Playful, serious and beautiful’, Maggie’s Oldham is selected by the Guardian as one of the best buildings of 2017 and predicted as a contender for next year’s Stirling prize.

The Guardian’s Five Best Buildings


Maggie’s cancer centre, Oldham dRMM
Its architects won the Stirling prize with Hastings Pier, and will be contenders again with this playful, serious and beautiful building.

Tate St Ives Jamie Fobert
A great, reposeful gallery carved out of a cliff, in a place where the local politics were as challenging as the engineering.

Exhibition Road Quarter, Victoria and Albert Museum Amanda Levete Architects
Another great gallery space, also buried, reached from a (literally) dazzling ceramic-paved courtyard. Bring your sunglasses.

Garden Museum, London Dow Jones
Subtle conversion of a church and churchyard into an urban homage to things planted.

The Japanese House: Architecture and Life After 1945 Barbican art gallery, London
An exhibition of architectural invention at its most fertile.

For the full article visit The Guardian website.

Photo © Jasmin Sohi


Sadie Morgan at international Architecture Gala in Sweden - 04-12-2017


“My mission is to ensure we create places that we truly deserve and love being in.” dRMM cofounder Sadie Morgan, speaking on infrastructure and public space at the international Architecture Gala in Sweden.

The most important symposium for architecture in the Nordic region, the Architecture Gala addresses the most urgent architectural themes and presents the most interesting Swedish and international speakers.

Sadie Morgan of dRMM, the NIC and HS2 Independent Design Panel, closed the gala with a lecture on design advocacy, infrastructure and public space, “My mission is to ensure we do not just create efficient infrastructure; but that we also create places that we truly deserve and love being in.” She presented a case study on dRMM’s Hastings Pier, winner of the RIBA Stirling Prize and People’s Vote.

Key speakers included James Taylor-Foster, ArchDaily’s European editor, who reflected on Swedish architecture over the previous year. Adam Caruso of Caruso St John, who talked about his architecture philosophy. The Minister for the Environment, Karolina Skog (MP), and the Minister for Culture and Democracy, Alice Bah Kuhnke (MP), spoke of the crucial role of architecture in future sustainable society. Anders Sjelvgren Director General of Boverket, the National Board of Housing, Building and Planning presented
his views on the role of a national architect. Kieran Long, Director of ArkDes, Sweden’s National Centre for Architecture and Design, spoke of his vision for the government agency and how it intends to reach out to the public.

For more information on the Architecture Gala, visit the Sveriges Arkitekter website