The Cell

The design of the new Health Faculty for Manchester Metropolitan University pushes the limits of both biophilia and technology in the same environment with mental health being the top priority. Through their mutual cooperation, they create an educational and therapeutic space that aims to serve a wide spectrum of people.

The building is developed by natural inspirations in its very basic biological form which are meant to reflect the building’s purpose of studying, researching and helping the people. Firstly, the double-helix main staircase at the entrance of the building is meant to symbolize the chain of DNA providing a connection between the two building blocks. Secondly, the central courtyard in the basement area is inspired by the functionality of a cell, providing a space for interchanging information among the people while improving circulation around, across, in and outside the space. Moreover, the importance of the healing benefits of natural light is recognized by implementing numerous design elements such as skylights, open plans and shading systems to optimize it in the internal spaces.

The faculty offers a vast spectrum of medical courses; however, it is particularly specialized in research and treatment of dementia, which was personally recognized as one of the most troublesome diseases in the world. Consequently, a treatment centre is part of the building which offers therapies and partial treatments for people suffering from dementia through the latest medicine as well as the healing benefits of greenery. However, the importance of mental health is prioritised in the rest of the building, too, offering study spaces, library and relaxation areas with a generous provision of plantation in both interior and exterior improving the wellbeing, productivity and memory of students as well as teachers.