Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The exterior of the building with thermally modified American tulipwood cladding

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The exterior of the building with thermally modified American tulipwood cladding

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Photographer: Tony Barwell

The building’s ‘hole in the middle’ encloses a tree growing through the centre of the building

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The building’s ‘hole in the middle’ encloses a tree growing through the centre of the building

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The building sits atop 4 metre steel stilts in the Royal Oldham Hospital grounds

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The building sits atop 4 metre steel stilts in the Royal Oldham Hospital grounds

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Maggie’s Centres seek to provide ‘the architecture of hope’. They offer free practical and emotional support for people affected by cancer. Built in the grounds of NHS cancer hospitals, the centres are safe and welcoming spaces. They lift the spirits and set the scene for people to draw on strengths they may not have realised they had in order to cope.

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. In wood there is hope, humanity, scale and warmth. Maggie’s Oldham is the first permanent building constructed from sustainable tulipwood cross-laminated timber, following on from dRMM, AHEC and Arup’s development of this material. All of the walls and roof are visibly structure and form an exquisite natural timber finish internally. The tulipwood CLT has been carefully detailed to bring out its natural beauty – it’s fine, variegated finish is more akin to a piece of furniture than a construction material. The slatted ceiling was created from wood left over from the CLT fabrication process, ensuring no waste.

We have considered the use of wood at every opportunity. As those undergoing chemotherapy sometimes feel pain on touching cold objects, oak rather than metal door handles have been used. Wood fibre insulation ensures a breathable, healthy environment whilst the huge window frames are American white oak. Externally the building is draped in custom-fluted, thermally modified tulipwood, like a surreal theatrical curtain.

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.

Design team:

Architect: dRMM - www.drmm.co.uk
Timber Advice: AHEC
Landscape Design: dRMM & Rupert Muldoon
Structural Engineer: Booth King
Cost Consultant: Robert Lombardelli Partnership
Main Contractor: F Parkinson
Building Services Engineer: Atelier Ten
Structural Timber Subcontractor: Zublin Timber
Tulipwood Supplier: Middle Tenessee Lumber
Machining of Cladding: Morgan Timber
Internal Joinery: Uncommon Projects
Artist (Curtain): Inside/Outside
Landscape subcontractor: Hultons
Curved Glazing: IPIG
Timber Framed Windows: Aresi
Furniture: Coexistence
Wooden Door Handles: Mowat & Co / Allgood

Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The centre sits within the Royal Oldham Hospital Grounds

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The centre sits within the Royal Oldham Hospital Grounds

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The exterior of the building with thermally modified American tulipwood cladding

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The exterior of the building with thermally modified American tulipwood cladding

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Photographer: Tony Barwell

The exterior of the building with thermally modified American tulipwood cladding

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The exterior of the building with thermally modified American tulipwood cladding

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Photographer: Jasmine Sohi

The elevated building sits on top of 4 metre steel legs above a sloping garden

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The elevated building sits on top of 4 metre steel legs above a sloping garden

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Photographer: Tony Barwell

The building’s ‘hole in the middle’ encloses a tree growing through the centre of the building

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The building’s ‘hole in the middle’ encloses a tree growing through the centre of the building

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The building’s ‘hole in the middle’ encloses a tree growing through the centre of the building

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The building’s ‘hole in the middle’ encloses a tree growing through the centre of the building

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Photographer: Jasmine Sohi

The main kitchen area with the American tulipwood CLT table designed by Barnby Day

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The main kitchen area with the American tulipwood CLT table designed by Barnby Day

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The main kitchen area features a slatted ceiling made from American tulipwood

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The main kitchen area features a slatted ceiling made from American tulipwood

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The main kitchen area features a slatted ceiling made from American tulipwood

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The main kitchen area features a slatted ceiling made from American tulipwood

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The CLT panels are curved to follow the contours of the glass

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The CLT panels are curved to follow the contours of the glass

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The CLT panels are curved to follow the contours of the glass

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The CLT panels are curved to follow the contours of the glass

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Photographer: Jasmin Sohi

The building is positioned on a sloped garden which providing panoramic views of the Pennines

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The building is positioned on a sloped garden which providing panoramic views of the Pennines

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The outer balcony is clad with thermally modified American tulipwood

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The outer balcony is clad with thermally modified American tulipwood

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The building features a thermotreated American ash decking

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The building features a thermotreated American ash decking

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Photographer: Jon Cardwell

The building features a thermotreated American ash decking

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The building features a thermotreated American ash decking

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The centre sits within the Royal Oldham Hospital Grounds

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The centre sits within the Royal Oldham Hospital Grounds

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Photographer: Alex de Rijke

The building’s ‘hole in the middle’ encloses a tree growing through the centre of the building

Maggie's Oldham by dRMM | Therapy centres / spas

The building’s ‘hole in the middle’ encloses a tree growing through the centre of the building

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