The brief from the Christie was for a new building to replace an existing outdated facility and to house to the largest early clinical trials unit in the world, the largest chemotherapy unit in the UK and a new private patients unit. This building was to be of the highest architectural quality, create a strong new entrance to the hospital and achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ Rating. The building has been designed to have a relationship with the existing buildings on site, both visually and physically. The building has been orientated to relate to the adjacent buildings on the site, and create a stronger and more legible main entrance point to the hospital.
The building is clad primarily in an undulating ribbon of brass shingles. The natural textural finish and rich, warm tones of this material were chosen to compliment the brick and terracotta cladding on adjacent buildings, whilst creating a unique and beautiful façade with a natural patina which will weather naturally over time. This is contrasted with a dark grey ceramic rainscreen cladding, echoing the slate roofs of the Victorian properties opposite. Both the Christie and AFL Architects wanted a design and layout that would maximise opportunities for natural lighting, ventilation and break-out space to create an attractive and healthy patient environment.
The landscaped central lightwell - accessible to all building users - provides a valuable open-air amenity space for relaxation and interaction. In addition to environmental considerations, steel-framed construction with lightweight concrete decks and stud work throughout the project has provided large open plan areas allowing future flexibility for the Trust. The Christie vision for this building has been met with a unique, carefully crafted and sustainable design, effectively facilitating valuable medical treatment and research work for years to come.