Uplifting Architecture

The new Maggie’s Cancer Centre in the grounds of The Christie Hospital in Manchester is roofed in Nordic Bronze, one of a palette of materials giving Foster + Partners’ design its essential sense of warmth.

Welcoming and full of light and open space, Maggie’s Centres are designed by leading architects to be uplifting places for people with cancer, their families and friends. Each architect offers a unique interpretation of the same brief, based on the needs of a person living with cancer, to create the calm environments so important to the people who visit and work there.

The new Manchester centre occupies a sunny site and its low profile reflects the residential scale of the surrounding streets. Its Nordic Bronze clad roof rises in the centre to create a mezzanine level, naturally illuminated by triangular roof lights, and is supported by lightweight timber lattice beams. The beams act as natural partitions between different internal areas, visually dissolving the architecture into the surrounding gardens.

Darron Haylock, Partner, Foster + Partners, said: ‘In keeping with the domestic character of the building, the entire palette of materials at Maggie’s exudes a sense of warmth, not just inside the building, but throughout the exterior as well – this is one of the primary reasons we chose bronze as a roofing material. A long-term roofing solution that requires little maintenance, it has a durability that few other roof materials can match.

‘It is a material that ages beautifully, complementing perfectly the timber frame of the building. Its malleability makes it easy to form a pitched roof with expressed battens and scrolls to emphasise the building grid, requiring the deft skill of a craftsperson to realise the true potential of the material – it encapsulates the spirit of the building in its totality.’

Nordic Bronze is produced by Aurubis, part of the world’s leading integrated copper group and largest copper recycler. Other copper alloys from Aurubis include Nordic Brass, also available pre-weathered, and Nordic Royal an innovative alloy of copper giving a rich golden through-colour that is very stable. In addition to Nordic Standard copper, Aurubis architectural surfaces include Nordic Green and Nordic Blue factory-applied patinas – developed with properties and colours based on the same brochantite mineralogy found in natural patinas. Nordic Brown pre-oxidised copper gives either light or dark brown oxidisation that otherwise takes time to develop in the environment.

For more information, visit their website or email: g.bell(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)aurubis.com