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dRMM submits plans for Oldham Maggie’s

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Timber experts dRMM has submitted plans for a new Maggie’s Centre in Oldham

The new centre will sit within the grounds of the Royal Oldham Hospital and is set to become the cancer care charity’s second project in Greater Manchester.

Foster + Partners won planning for a scheme at Christie Hospital in Manchester last year, and the centre is set to open in 2016.

According to the practice dRMM’s Maggie’s Centre will be a ‘house full of suprises.’

The scheme will be supported on slender columns which allow it to float above a sloping garden with a reflecting pool and a series of ‘open air rooms’ framed by birch and pine trees, while trees will also grow up through the timber building.

Maggie’s chief executive Laura Lee, said: ‘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.’

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The architect’s view

A Maggie’s Centre can be likened to a house; ours is a house full of surprises. The building hovers over a sloping 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 a light-filled void of trees and unexpected simultaneous views down to the garden pool below, up to the sky, and out to the Pennine horizon.

The need for both privacy and collectivity is respectively met with discreet meeting rooms and niches carved from a ‘thick’ wall, and the otherwise completely open interior space, planned around the central lightwell. The materials are timber, glass and the outside presence and colours of the garden inside.

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Project data

Location Oldham, Greater Manchester
Type of project cancer care centre
Architect dRMM
Client Maggie’s
Planning submission October 2015

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