Pioneering framework partner delivers a world first at Maggie’s, Oldham

The project at Maggie’s, Oldham will be featured at the IHEEM Healthcare Estates conference on Wednesday 11th October, in conjunction with Constructing Excellence

This project is the world’s first permanent building constructed entirely of hardwood cross-laminated timber (CLT), therefore it has provided a pivotal moment for modern construction and innovation. Hardwood CLT, a relatively new material made from highly sustainable American tulipwood, which was selected as the principal material for its health benefits, strength and expressive, warm finish. This material has vast advantages over traditional building materials. It has a better strength-to-weight ratio than concrete or steel, has a more sophisticated finish than softwood and is a carbon negative resource.

Delivered by F Parkinson, the unique scheme is a newly constructed cancer care centre situated within the grounds of The Royal Oldham Hospital. Maggie’s is a charity that provides free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends. Since the centre does not provide cancer treatment facilities which requires complex architectural considerations; the aim was to design a space that was purely focused on calming and healing.  

Maggie’s, Oldham seeks to provide ‘the architecture of hope’. The building sits on six slender stilts which allows the building to hover over a garden. The garden offers ‘open air rooms’ framed by pine and birch trees. The CLT has a concave and convex glass bubble rising full height throughout its structure. One unique and innovative aspect of the project is that 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 below.

Excellent relationships were maintained with all parties involved in the scheme. This included the funder, the charity, Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, local MP’s, Oldham Council leaders, local schools and youth centres, the entire design team, main contractor, supply chain, local neighbours and even Pudsey Bear.

NWCH will be exhibiting at the IHEEM Healthcare Estates conference on the 10th and 11th of October. Visit us on stand B28 or book into our procurement clinic with one of our framework management team at nwch@manchester.gov.uk



Photo credit: dRMM, Alex de Rijke

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