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Re-building of the Christie cancer building heralds a new era of science innovation

Above: exterior of the Christie Hospital's new Paterson Building (courtesy BDP for Interserve Construction)

The UK government has been backing the growth of science R&D, so the news that the Paterson Building at the famous Christie Hospital in Manchester is now re-built following a fire, is good news for the researchers that work there.

Following a devastating fire which caused significant damage to the Paterson cancer research facility in 2017, building work on the new Paterson building at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester has completed.

The building is part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre – a highly successful partnership between three powerhouses of innovation, The Christie, Cancer Research UK and The University of Manchester – and will be one of the top cancer research centres in the world. Integrated Health Projects (IHP), VINCI Building and Sir Robert McAlpine and its supply chain partners, BDP, Arup and Imtech have been involved in realising the project.

The building is set to become home to the largest concentration of scientists, doctors and nurses in Europe, 300 scientists and 400 clinicians and operational staff, practicing what is know as 'team science', will deliver clinical trials covering the full extent of the patient pathway, from prevention and novel treatments to living with and beyond cancer.

At more than 25,000 square metres and ten storeys high, the building is more than twice the size of the previous facility, allowing experts to deliver discovery research and translate their findings into innovative clinical trials, at scale. The building will be occupied by all three of the partners. It’ll be home to the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, as well as several other teams from The University of Manchester’s Division of Cancer Sciences. It will also be Manchester’s scientific headquarters for discovery science within the international Alliance for Early Cancer Detection.

A central component of the building will be the new Cancer Research UK Cancer Biomarker Centre. The centre’s focus will be on biomarkers to aid in early cancer detection and diagnosis, and enable personalised management of a patient’s cancer, to determine which therapy will bring the most benefit.

Ged Couser, Architect Principal at BDP said:

“This building adds a striking new addition to the Manchester skyline, delivering a technologically advanced structure that is already raising the profile of academic collaboration and R&D in the North of England. This project is a prime example of what can be achieved with the right planning, funding and design to create effective, beautiful, highly specialised places that impact positively on communities, businesses and local people.

“We are so proud to have worked on the new Christie Paterson and to be witnessing these moments as the building becomes occupied. It shows that great design can create flexible spaces which centre on diagnoses, patient care, and vital, world-leading research in a truly collaborative environment, about which we are so excited.”

Roger Spencer, Chief Executive at The Christie, commented:

“The Christie has been at the forefront of cancer research for over 120 years. Standard treatments that were first trialled here have improved the outcomes for millions of cancer patients across the world. This new centre allows us to build on this legacy, so it’s exciting to see the vision become a reality.


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