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Maggie’s at the Robert Parfett Building

Maggie’s at the Robert Parfett Building

Arnold Laver Gold Award & Structural Award Winner 2016

Location: Manchester
Architect: Foster + Partners
Client/Owner: Maggie’s
Structural Engineer: Foster + Partners
Main Contractor/Builder: Sir Robert McAlpine
Specialist Contractor: Blumer Lehmann AG / SJB Engineers
Landscape Consultant: Dan Pearson Studio
Photography: Nigel Young
Wood Supplier: Metsa Wood
Wood Species: Nordic Spruce

Maggie’s Centres provide a welcoming ‘home away from home’ – a place of refuge where people affected by cancer can find emotional and practical support. The design of the Manchester centre establishes a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting with a greenhouse and a veranda. The centre accommodates a range of spaces from intimate private niches to a library. Naturally illuminated by triangular roof lights, the building is supported by lightweight timber lattice beams. The beams act as partitions between different internal areas, visually dissolving the architecture into the gardens. The timber beams are designed as trusses that reflect the magnitude and orientation of the loads acting on them, anything superfluous to the structural support has been removed. The design uses Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) timber with no visible fixing between the pieces. The diagonal arrangement of the trusses across the central spine provides stability to the roof without the need for additional elements. The desire to create a low energy, homely environment with natural ventilation and daylight defined the design.