Mansell wins £1.6m contract to build Newcastle cancer centre

Maggies Centre will provide state-of-the-art cancer facilities in grounds of Freeman Hospital

Mansell has secured the contract to build the new Maggies North East cancer centre

Mansell has won a £1.6m contract to build a new Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre in the grounds of the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

Maggies North East will provide cancer care services for a population of around 2.1 million people within the North of England Cancer Network region, which stretches from the East Coast across the Cumbria and down to the River Tees.

The bespoke building, designed by Cullinan Studio, comprises a concrete-framed structure which will be covered with natural landscaping embankments and weathered steel panels.

The building itself will partly enclose a courtyard and provide two wings of accommodation. A central library will incorporate stairs up to a mezzanine level, covered by an angled curved roof covered in photovoltaic solar panels. The mezzanine will lead out onto a flat landscaped roof, screened by planting. Vibrant landscaping will also surround the centre, which is expected to achieve a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating.

A spokesman for the architects said of the scheme: "Maggie's North East is designed to be a place of calm and care for people with cancer and their friends, families and carers.

"To help with these aims, the centre will have a dining room and kitchen for meeting and preparing food in; a large shared room for activities such as yoga, classes and lectures; two smaller meeting rooms; two counselling rooms ; and a library with a fire in it to sit by in peace.

"The building will be low-carbon and low-energy, with grassy banks surrounding it to help with insulation. Pipes below the banks will provide ground source heating to the building and a south-facing sloping roof over the library will have photovoltaic cells to make electricity."

Particular to this Maggie's Centre is a sheltered sunken court on its south side, which all the main rooms will open out onto. The court will provide a barbeque area, a herb garden and fruit trees. A landscaped roof garden, surrounded by a clipped beech hedge, will be accessed from the library and furnished with a bowling green and fixed exercise equipment.

Work has recently started on site and the building is expected to be completed in early 2013.

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