26 Jun

Oldham Has World’s First CLT Hardwood Building

21st Maggie’s Centre in Royal Oldham Hospital sets new trend in CLT hardwood construction

Royal Oldham Hospital image by David Dixon, 2015 (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Share Alike)

Royal Oldham Hospital image © 2015 David Dixon (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Share Alike).

The Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust has a number of respite centres across the UK. They offer support and respite for families affected by cancer with a non-invasive environment. Their latest addition in the Royal Oldham Hospital is a revolutionary design. It is the first ever CLT hardwood building in the world. It is fitting that the pioneering cross laminated timber building is at the birthplace of the world’s first test tube baby.

Oldham’s branch of Maggie’s Centre is also known as the Sir Norman Stoller centre. Sir Norman Stoller is a familiar face in Oldham, noted for his philanthropy. As an entrepreneur, he formed Seton Healthcare (now SSL International PLC) and invented the tubular bandage.

The modernist building, designed by dRRM Architects plays host to nutrition workshops, benefits advice clinics, psychological advice, and stress management courses. It has been open since the start of this month.

Why did dRRM Architects choose CLT hardwood? Firstly, CLT hardwood as a building material is an equal to steel and concrete. Secondly, wood is seen by many people as a reassuring material. The perception of being at one with nature. The use of wood and natural forms is seen as a change from the sterility of steel and plastic seen elsewhere in the hospital.

Within weeks of opening, Rowan Moore, The Observer’s architecture correspondent called the pioneering CLT hardwood building “A balm for the senses” in yesterday’s edition. If you go to the dRRM Architects website, you will be awestruck by the warm design and the views of the Pennines. It is nothing short of beautiful.

D and A Plumbing and Electrical Contractors, 26 June 2017.

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