GEZE creates elegant entrance for treehouse

Set in a site of special scientific interest, the Patricia Thompson Building for Maggie’s Cancer Centre in Oxford has been designed around a treehouse concept providing an oasis of calm amongst the trees for anyone affected by cancer.

The main entrance to the building, which is built on stilts, is approached via a land bridge and features a pair of integrated all-glass system (IGG) swing doors each powered by a TSA 160 UFO underfloor operator  from GEZE UK. The building was designed by architect Wilkinson Eyre and has been shortlisted for World Architecture Festival Awards 2015.

The IGG system was specified because the profile and fittings are integrated invisibly between the panes of glass so there are no bulky or visible elements on the surface of the glass. At the same time, the TSA 160 UFO is concealed under the floor meaning that neither the operators nor the doors detract from the overall design of the centre, which thanks to its expansive glass facades gives panoramic views of the trees throughout.  The TSA 160 UFOs are tamper proof, easy to maintain and virtually silent in operation and can operate door leaves of up to 120kg in weight.

The doors feature a push button for accessibility and a solenoid bolt lock to control who can access the building for security reasons. Whilst the bolt lock itself is industry standard, it is unusual for it to be fitted with an all-glass system/IGG door system.

To the rear of the building, GEZE installed a second single IGG swing door to act as a Fire escape. This is fitted with a TS 550 NV floor spring and a solenoid bolt lock for security. The TS 550 NV aids closing of swing doors and apart from the cover plate is completely hidden from view. 

“We are delighted to have been involved in the project and the fact that it has been shortlisted for a World Architecture Festival Award demonstrates what a fantastic building it is,” commented Andy Howland, sales director of GEZE UK. “As Maggie’s is a contemporary treehouse design which has large areas of glass, the IGG system was the obvious solution as it has few visible fixtures, allowing the façade to continue with minimum interruptions to the line of sight.”

Claire Marriott, Centre Head at Maggie’s Cancer Centre said: “We are delighted with our treehouse building, and especially the wide expanses of glass which allow us to see the changing seasons from all parts of the centre. To be so connected to the outside enhances the therapeutic nature of our work. The large glass doors allow our visitors to enter into the building at the touch of a button, opening inwards to welcome them in.”