Innovation key to delivering Maggie’s at The Christie

Our construction knowledge and know-how was key in helping realise the complex architectural vision for Maggie’s at The Christie in Manchester

Our engineering experts overcame the complexities of this timber and glass pavilion, designed by Lord Norman Foster, to deliver Maggie’s at The Christie in Manchester.

Maggie's centres are run by expert staff who provide a full programme of support to help people live well with cancer. The centre at Manchester is open to all cancer patients and friends and family of patients who are receiving treatment at The Christie or elsewhere in the region.

Our early involvement allowed us to provide buildability and financial advice, while our extensive contribution to the design development process which continued throughout the project showcased our adaptability and willingness to innovate.

Project summary

    • Client: Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust
    • Sector: Healthcare
    • Location: North West
    • Services: McAlpine Design Group, Construction Management
    • Completion date: 2016

Our early involvement allowed us to provide buildability and financial advice, while our extensive contribution to the design development process, which continued throughout the project, showcased our adaptability and willingness to innovate. 

To drive value for our client and help provide financial surety, we worked hard from the outset to reduce variations at the end of the project. We made sure that the packages and scope of works were robust and that the various contractors had considered the works from every angle and understood the interfaces. 

On such an architecturally driven scheme, scrutinising the minutiae of every specification and finish and extensive prototyping and modelling have been key to meeting the project’s exacting standards. This has meant intense collaboration with the various disciplines involved.

The timber frame is a prime example. We worked closely with Fosters and timber frame supplier Blumer-Lehmann on the unusual design, which is formed from 17 linking glulam lattice trusses. 

The glulam sections are made up of four layers of Kerto plyboard, the middle two of which feature a lattice cut and shaped using a 7-axis CNC router. Critically, the layers are arranged with the grain in specific directions to give the finished product its strength. 

Project Manager Mike Rider said, “This type of glulam has never really been done before. It’s remarkably complex in the way the timber is working.

Maggie’s Manchester won the Chamber of Commerce’s Building of the Year, the Structural Award and the “winner of winners” Arnold Laver Gold award at the Wood Awards, and the 2017 ArchDaily Building of the Year Awards, in the healthcare category.

Understanding what Maggie’s is all about and focusing on its values is essential. If you get involved in that you feel more part of what you’re building, more emotionally involved in getting it right for the charity.

Mike Ryder Project Manager

Maggie's Cancer Care Centre at The Christie, Manchester

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