dRMM received a Frame Award for their cancer care centre which breaks away from traditional clinical environments. Designed from natural, sustainable materials, the interior is therapeutic in nature; inspiring hope and empowering visitors. Maggie’s Oldham was named Healthcare Centre of the Year.
About the project
Maggie’s Oldham explicitly addresses the relationship between the built environment and known causes of cancer through careful use of natural, 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 a large tree growing out of hole in the floor, 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 meant 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, and allows natural light to enter the space. Time also guided the selection of loose furniture, consisting of mid-century classics by Ercolani, Wegner, Nagouchi 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 the material is used in a building with the hopes of redefining the norms of hospital architecture.
A circular laminated tulipwood table facilitates conversation 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.
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 wood door handles in response to the neuropathy of fingers made painful by chemotherapy.
Photograph by Presstigieux
Video by Alex de Rijke