dRMM FOUNDING DIRECTOR SADIE MORGAN, FEATURES IN THE DESIGN COUNCIL’S ‘LEADING WOMEN IN DESIGN’ SERIES.
The series marks the 100-year anniversary of the Representation of the People Act 1918, featuring women who made invaluable contribution to shape the world we live in today. Interviewed in the communal gardens at Trafalgar Place – dRMM’s Stirling Prize shortlisted housing project in south-east London – Sadie talks about her upbringing and its impact on her approach to design. The public and communal spaces were key to the development of this project and demonstrate dRMM’s on-going commitment to people and places. The industry is still lacking true diversity, says Sadie, but the future is bright as women begin to “believe that they are as capable as any man”.
dRMM received four RIBA North West Awards for Maggie’s Oldham, including the region’s top prize. The cancer care centre breaks away from traditional clinical environments to be therapeutic in nature; inspiring hope and empowering visitors.
Maggie’s Oldham was named North West Building of the Year and also received the Sustainability Award. dRMM senior associate Jasmin Sohi picked up the Project Architect of the Year Award for her work on the Centre.
About the project
The design addresses the relationship between the built environment and known causes of cancer through the careful use of natural and sustainable materials. The clinical environment of traditional medical institutions was deliberately avoided, with the hope of making visitors feel more empowered. Nature and daylight are brought into the space through the glass windows embracing the large tree growing in the centre of the building, and views of both the ground below and sky above.
American tulipwood is used throughout the interior and exterior – whether laminated structure, fitted furniture, or thermally-modified cladding. The prolific use of this versatile material is aimed to inspire hope, scale, warmth, and represent nature’s ability to recycle carbon. Poured resin floors and bright yellow doors offset the extensive use of wood. The covered balcony protects patients from the sun, but allows natural light to enter the space. The selection of loose furniture consists of mid-century classics by Ercolani, Wegner, Nogouchi, and Jacobsen.
What is unique about it
In collaboration with AHEC and ARUP in 2013, dRMM developed cross-laminated hardwood that outperforms existing cross-laminated timber. This is the first time this material is used in a building with the hopes to redefine the norms of hospital architecture.
A circular laminated tulipwood table facilitates conversations and symbolises sustainability, humanity, and hospitality. A full-height reversible curtain loop by Petra Blaisse allows the open plan to be cordoned off for privacy.
Video by Alex de Rijke
A great deal of advice was taken from Maggie’s and cancer patients to inform the design; the psychological effects of specific spaces and views were considered along with details like wood door handles in response to the neuropathy of fingers made painful by chemotherapy.
Read more about dRMM’s design of Maggie’s Oldham here.
View Maggie’s Oldham on the RIBA Awards website here.
Faraday House is dRMM’s bold and imaginative residential scheme – part of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment – has received a RIBA London Award.
About the project
Faraday House is formed of a series of stacked apartments that shift in response to the curve of the tracks, generating an interesting shape of protruded and recessed boxes. The 8 storey building is cladded in copper alloy – a bright, folded metal that reflects a hand-worked aesthetic and gives the building a joyful and striking identity.
Each of the 113 apartments are designed with commitment to the residents’ experience. They are arranged in small clusters of three per floor, allowing residents to meet and for communities to flourish, while maintaining an efficient NIA:GIA ratio. Space and light are amplified; views of the River Thames and the landscaped courtyard are framed with full height windows, whilst private balconies and rooftop gardens provide outdoor spaces.
Faraday House is a high-quality and high-profile building with identity, wit, and imagination. The result is an enhanced quality of life for residents and a striking composition for visitors as they travel into London Victoria station.
Read more about dRMM’s design of Faraday House here. View Faraday House on the RIBA Awards website here.
The local community is fundraising £1 million to ensure Hastings Pier becomes a sustainable community asset. dRMM are pledging full design and planning services.
Hastings Pier has the chance to become a sustainable community asset
The pier could be sold to the highest bidder… Instead, Friends of Hastings Pier (FOHP) have created a business plan that will keep the freehold of the pier in community hands, while transforming it into a profitable and sustainable business.
To be able to implement the plans, they must raise an initial £500k from donations by the 31 May This will avoid the precious community asset being sold. The bid has a real chance of winning, FOHP just need to show they have community support and financial backing.
Phase Two additions enable the pier to run year round
dRMM have pledged their design and planning application fee for the new building work envisaged. Phase Two includes the addition of a large rooftop canopy to the visitor centre’s belvedere deck, and a mixed-use, modern pavilion situated opposite the victorian pavilion. The new building is efte and timber, and its uses include food, beverage and a nightclub.
Corporate and individual sponsorship and ideas welcome