Maggie’s Oldham, designed by dRMM Architects, has been officially opened.
The project has been supported by the American Hardwood Export Council, which describes it as a world first, being the first permanent structure constructed entirely from hardwood cross-laminated timber.
Maggie’s, the charity that provides practical and emotional support to people living with cancer, has become recognised for its emphasis on design within its facilities, which are built on the grounds of NHS hospitals.
Planning permission for the 9,300 sq ft facility was granted in 2015. The building will be known as Maggie’s Oldham: the Sir Norman Stoller Centre and is expected to receive 10,000 visits a year once fully up to speed.
American tulipwood CLT was developed as a building material in 2013 by dRMM, AHEC and Arup, with its attributes being strength and lightness – tulipwood is approximately 70% stronger in bending than a typical CLT grade softwood. The structural panels for Maggie’s Oldham were developed by CLT specialist Züblin Timber.
The first public experiment with this building material was The Endless Stair, created during the London Design Festival 2013.
Professor Alex de Rijke, co-founder of London-based dRMM, said: “From the Oldham project’s inception we knew it was the right material for Maggie’s, not only structurally and visually, but conceptually. An elevated, open plan, all-timber and glass building – with trees growing through it, and every detail considered from the perspective of use, health, and delight – was always going to be special.
“Maggie’s Oldham has a built-in, very visible holistic design message that supports the central aims of the design – to uplift and offer hope to people living with cancer. The applications for sustainably grown hardwood, particularly fast growing tulipwood CLT is endless.”
AHEC said that Maggie’s Oldham is one of the most important developments in a decade of research and development into structural timber innovation.
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