dRMM are recognised as pioneers of engineered timber architecture and construction. The studio and project team received four accolades at the Structural Timber Awards for Maggie’s Oldham, the first engineered hardwood building in the world.
The prizes celebrate innovation and excellence in timber structures across the United Kingdom. Maggie’s Oldham won Healthcare Project of the Year and Contractor of the Year (Parkinson), and received a high commendation in two more categories; Architect of the Year (dRMM) and Engineer of the Year (Booth King).
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.
Maggie’s Oldham is the first engineered hardwood building in the world. It has a number of timber innovations including a tulipwood CLT structure and a fluted, thermally treated tulipwood cladding developed by dRMM. The tactile quality of the internal finish and the cladding make this wooden building very special.
The centre is an exemplar of healthcare architecture. The use of timber, quality of design, detail and finishes seek to rethink the nature of hospital buildings, offering a more human, warm and calming alternative. The imaginative design strategy of elevating the building has given the hospital a garden as well as a cancer care centre. The tree growing through the centre brings nature to the inside, and the view to the Pennines offers a sense of hope.
The project demonstrates how great things can be achieved through genuine collaboration. It has been a pleasure to work on and hopefully will offer inspiration and comfort to those with cancer and their family and friends for the future.
Maggie’s Oldham is shortlisted for the Wood Awards alongside Hastings Pier, to be announced on the 21 November 2017.