Roofs & roofing: Maggie’s Centre London by RSHP is crowned by floating diagrid roof.
Maggie’s Centre London, by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners, is the latest in a line of purpose-built, design-led facilities offering support for people affected by cancer. Situated at Charing Cross Hospital in Hammersmith, west London, the building is conceived as an open house that is both welcoming and non-institutional. Arranged over two levels, the 370 square metre scheme comprises four main elements. The first is a wall that wraps around four sides, providing protection from the exposed site. Second is the kitchen: a double-height communal space located at the heart of the plan. Third is a collection of annexes. These are clustered around the main space and include meeting, sitting and consulting rooms. Last is a plane-like floating roof that appears to hover over the outer walls, providing a sense of enclosure and protection. The roof also serves to obscure views of the hospital, which is the dominant feature contextually. The sense of an insular, protected environment is extended outside via a series of courtyard winter gardens and the landscaped public space beyond.
The building’s primary structure comprises fair-faced concrete columns supporting four separate first floor slabs. Following erection of the external blockwork walls, the prefabricated steel roof sections were bolted together onsite, forming a diagrid structure that cantilevers from the central concrete portal frame.
Working in collaboration with RSHP and Arup, the detail design and manufacture of the roof was undertaken by SAS International. A single-ply membrane covers the top surface, while the soffit/ceiling is clad with some 240 triangular-shaped aluminium panels. These are interspersed with skylights incorporating solar shading louvres. An aluminium bullnose feature is used around the perimeter of the roof.
To ensure the panels aligned evenly and met the required tolerances, SAS constructed a virtual 3D model of the roof using Autodesk Inventor. This also allowed the manufacturer to fabricate the entire soffit/ceiling offsite.
Architect: Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; structure, services: Arup; qs: Turner & Townsend; landscape architect: Dan Pearson Studio; lighting: Speirs & Major Associates; planning supervisor: TPS Schal; fire: Warrington Fire Consultants; specification writer: Davis Langdon Schumann Smith; access: Vin Goodwin; contractor: ROK.
Selected subcontractors and suppliers
Sarnafil roofing membrane, aluminium roof soffit, steel roof substructure: SAS International.
AT190/July/August 08 p89.