dRMM Architects and Maggie’s – the charity that provides free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends – have applied for planning permission to bring a new Maggie’s Centre to Oldham.
Built within the grounds of The Royal Oldham Hospital, the new Centre will complement the encology clinical care offered by the hospital. It will be the charity’s second Centre in Greater Manchester, following in the footsteps of Foster’s Maggie’s at The Christie Hospital.
A Maggie’s Centre can be likened to a house; ours is a house full of surprises. The building hovers over a proposed garden, supported on very slender columns. The garden offers ‘open air rooms’ framed by pine and birch trees, with a reflecting pool of rainwater discovered underneath the building.
From this central oasis trees grow up through the building, bringing nature into the interior. The building is about content, not form. On entering the deliberately simple timber box over a bridge, the visitor is confronted with space, light, trees and unexpected views down to the garden pool below, up to the sky, and out to the Pennine horizon.
The simultaneous need for privacy and collectivity is met with discreet meeting rooms and niches carved from a ‘thick’ wall, in the otherwise completely open plan interior space, planned around the central lightwell. The materials are dRMM’s characteristic engineered timber and glass, and the outside reflects the presence and colours of the garden.
Maggie’s Chief Executive, Laura Lee said, “A cancer diagnosis and treatment brings with it tough questions and difficult emotions which can leave many feeling isolated. The programme of support that we will be offering at Maggie’s Oldham will help to improve the physical and emotional wellbeing of people with cancer across the region.
“We’re absolutely thrilled to be working with the Royal Oldham Hospital and dRMM Architects on this project. The Centre, designed by dRMM, is built around a sloping garden, offering rooms full of light and garden views creating a calm and uplifting environment for everyone that visits the Centre. Maggie’s Oldham will be our second in the North West following in the footsteps of Maggie’s at The Christie which is due to open in early 2016. Submitting our planning application is an exciting step forward in bringing a Maggie’s Centre to Oldham and in fulfilling our ambition to provide the highest quality cancer support to the people of the North West.”
Maggie’s Oldham has been made possible by the invaluable generosity of the Stoller Charitable Trust, which has fully funded the Centre.