Light, strong structure gives support

Maggie's Centre in Manchester, UK by Foster + Partners

MAGGIE’S CENTRE IS a British organisation that offers practical and emotional support for cancer patients and their relatives. The charity runs 18 centres across the UK, in pavilions attached to cancer clinics at various hospitals. The latest was designed by Norman Foster, who has first-hand experience of a cancer diagnosis. Located in his hometown of Manchester, the centre features large expanses of glass supported by an intricate network of wooden joists. These are made from simple Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL). The laminates have spaces cut out so that together they form a kind of lattice, creating a structure that is both light and strong. Concealed bolts and steel fixings hold the nodes together.

As Darron Haylock, partner at Foster + Partners, tells The Architect’s Journal, “the project brings together fundamental design philosophies from the early days of the practice: prefabrication, dry construction, and the benefits of speed and quality that these processes offer.”

The centre measures 500 square metres and opened in April 2016.«


Read the latest stories

Get news & inspiration from Swedish Wood

Sign up and get information about publications and other news from Swedish Wood by email.

Sign up for the newsletter