Maggie’s Oldham, UK, is the world’s first building made from hardwood cross laminated timber (CLT). Designed by dRMM Architects and supported by the American Hardwood Export Council, it marked the first ever structural use of engineered U.S. hardwood for an entire building creating a template for wider architectural application.
Maggie’s cancer centre in Oldham has been made possible by the enormous generosity of the Stoller Charitable Trust, which has fully funded the Centre. The Centre will offer psychological support, benefits advice, nutrition workshops, relaxation and stress management, art therapy and yoga.
The design of Maggie’s Oldham is all this and more – less about form and more about content. A simple yet sophisticated wooden box of surprises. Supported on slender columns, the building floats above a garden framed by pine, birch and tulip poplar trees. From a central oasis, a tree grows up through the building, bringing nature inside. On entering, the visitor is met with a space, light and unexpected views down to the garden below, up to the sky, and out to the Pennine horizon.
The use of wood at Maggie’s Oldham is part of a bigger design intention to reverse the norms of hospital architecture, where clinical institutionalised environments can make patients feel dispirited. dRMM, de Rijke Marsh Morgan Architects from London, chose tulipwood for the design of Maggie’s Oldham for the positive influence wood has on people and for the beauty, strength and warmth inherent to American tulipwood. The slatted ceiling was created from wood left over from the CLT fabrication process, ensuring no waste.
Maggie’s Oldham is a carefully made manifesto for the architecture of health, realised in wood. The Centre has been made possible by the enormous generosity of the Stoller Charitable Trust, which has fully funded the Centre.
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