Alex de Rijke Speaks on Maggie’s at the Berlin Healthcare Symposium
“One of the unanswered questions cancer sufferers ask is, ‘What caused it?’ The increasing evidence of cancer in developed countries points toward carcinogenic elements in our food, drink and air, and material components of our built environment.”
dRMM cofounder professor Alex de Rijke, presented Maggie’s Oldham at ‘Healing Architecture’ the seventh edition of the Berlin symposium for healthcare of the future.
Alex was joined on stage by professor doctor Burkhard Göke of the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, and professor Momoyo Kaijima of Atelier Bow-Wow.
When asked, why wood? Alex responded “In wood there is hope, humanity, scale, warmth, and nature’s clever plan to absorb carbon. Wood is a non-toxic, versatile, benign, anti-carcinogenic material. People like wood, but steel and concrete are the industry default.
Having pioneered engineered timber construction since 2000, I was delighted to be able to invent and develop cross-laminated hardwood through dRMM’s collaboration with AHEC and ARUP for Endless Stair in 2013. A key new material which outperformed existing cross-laminated timber was the result.
For Maggie’s Oldham, dRMM re-present this new material in an integrated design for a public building, carrying a message for cancer care and for environmentally sophisticated architecture. In a didactic display of engineered timber and glass construction, all of the walls and roof are visibly structured and form an exquisite natural finish internally.
Externally the building is draped in corrugated, heat-treated wood, like a surreal theatrical curtain. Inside and out, whether structure, furniture or thermally-modified cladding, the timber used is American tulipwood; a prolific fast-growing deciduous Magnolia tree made noble here by skilful manipulation. Maggie’s Oldham is the first cross-laminated hardwood building in the world.”
For more on Maggie’s Oldham see this link:
Photography thanks to Technische Universität Berlin