Stuart Keen, Christie Director of Capital

The new state-of-the-art Paterson research centre replaces a previous building that was severely damaged in a fire 6 years ago. The construction of the building at The Christie was a huge project, involving hundreds of people. Here, Stuart Keen, The Christie’s Director of Capital, talks about the Paterson’s successes and how the new space will benefit cancer patients.

A profile photo of Stuart Keen, The Christie’s Director of Capital.

Over one million person-hours of construction work and hundreds of people helped to construct the Paterson, and I’m just one of them. 

I’m the person who is responsible for the construction and refurbishment projects here at The Christie. This includes projects like the new ward in the former Trust Administration space, the new scanning centre on Wilmslow Road, and the refurbishment of our art room. 

However, being involved in the Paterson project was one of the highlights of my career. I’ve been involved with the project pretty much from the beginning when contracts were signed, so to see it come to life is fantastic. There’s a buzz about the place now and I’m excited to see the impact it’ll have. 

That’s not to say that there haven’t been challenges along the way. Building a structure that’s the same height as 12 double-decker buses stacked on top of each other is never going to be completely straightforward, but we also had to deal with the uncertainty that COVID-19 and other global events brought. It was not easy, but that makes the fact that we delivered it on time and budget even more satisfying. 

My favourite feature about the building is the lobby – you can see up to the third floor and it gives the whole place a real presence, but a lot of the features I love about it aren’t necessarily the things you might first notice – like the fact that the metal cladding shimmers in the sunlight and how we included space for future uses as the site grows further. 

I also love a lot of the more practical things, like the ventilation system. High ventilation rates are needed for the labs, so we spent a long time making sure it was just right. We’ve also kept our impact on the environment as low as we can. We’ve installed an air source heat pump and photovoltaic panels for the conversion of thermal energy into electricity. As a result, the building has a BREEAM sustainability rating of ‘Very Good.’ 

All this work has been for one reason – to improve the lives of cancer patients across the North West and beyond. Over 700 researchers from The Christie and our partners Cancer Research UK and The University of Manchester are working in a space that’s been designed for close collaboration and team science. Together, they’ll find more ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer. I’m so proud to have played a part in giving them a cutting-edge space to do that. 

Stuart Keen, Christie Director of Capital

Watch this video of the Paterson to find out more about the life-enhancing research that’s going on in the building.