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

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“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:
http://drmm.co.uk/projects/view.php?p=maggies-oldham 

Photography by Giovanni Nardi and AHEC

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

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

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

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

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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.

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