AFL Architects | The Christie at Macclesfield
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The Christie at Macclesfield

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A fully-integrated cancer treatment centre that will provide exemplary care to the local community. AFL Architects provided Lead Designer, architectural and interior design services on this next generation of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust’s vision for cancer care.

The Christie at Macclesfield encompasses over 28,000 sq ft at a key corner on the Macclesfield General Hospital estate. This location will deliver cancer care services to patients who previously had to travel over an hour to the Manchester Oak Road facility.

Now, over 1,500 existing patients benefit from are closer to home across East Cheshire, North Staffordshire and the High Peak area of Derbyshire, saving 90 hours of travel on average during a six week course of treatment.

Modern forms prioritise natural light, local materials and new ways of working.

The golden facade, reflective of the wider Trust identity, signifies to patients that they can expect world leading care.

Benefitting from the state-of-the-art equipment that is expected from The Christie brand, the facility provides two linear accelerators for radiotherapy, a diagnostic CT scanner and a 16-bay chemotherapy suite.

An outpatient clinic includes eight examination rooms and an information and support service, providing counselling, guidance and alternative therapies. The facility provides for over 46,000 visits annually. Staff are able to conduct 12,500 radiotherapy treatments and 6,800 chemotherapy and haematology treatments a year.

Architecturally distinct from other facilities of its class.

The elevation is expressed in a language of brass/copper cladding, stone, and curving building forms that echo the main site, while responding to its setting.

The material has been chosen for its weathering feature – the bright copper finish will slowly transform to a deep matt brass over the lifetime of the building.

Grey sandstone grounds the building in the local material vernacular of Cheshire. This stone is used to clad the patient stair and lift core, along with the linking corridor structure. The ribbons of brass that peel off from this core clearly identify the new entrance to the hospital.

Along with the retained mature trees and planting, the building form provides a screened external space for patients and staff, while being open and visible from the central waiting area.

At first floor this form terraces back, creating an interplay that dynamically wraps between the forms of the patient circulation core and the treatment room accommodation.

Modelling to precision

Leading a full design team necessitated working to BIM Level 2 maturity, managed by our in-house BIM specialists. Use of our Revit model ensured complete integration and coordination throughout all disciplines - from the very early stages up until completion on site.

The BIM coordination process facilitated the realisation of the building concept, both externally and internally, without compromising the design intent.

We produced a scripted walkthrough of the BIM model, also available in virtual reality, that significantly assisted with material selection, decision making regarding spaces and wider stakeholder engagement. From this model we could then readily export working drawings.

Information was shared and used for validation and cost estimation. This information was particularly helpful in evaluation of cost-effective design solutions, for example when costing the copper façade.

A soft landing, on time and under budget

The BIM model has been passed to the client upon handover as part of Soft Landings in order to be used for asset management purposes. Our team used COBie for mapping project data into a single spreadsheet and organising all construction project information including RFIs, product warranties into a standard form.

Our approach to ensuring that equipment schedules are driven by the data in the BIM model both graphically and exported for use by clinical and procurement teams allows for accurate maintenance and future upgrade projects.

The accuracy of the model meant it could be used for costing purposes. The outcome is that the project was ultimately completed under budget and on time, with the client receiving funds back into their charity to use on future developments.

Christie Macclesfield AFL Architects 16

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