As we announced earlier, Steven Holl Architects has been selected to design the Maggie’s Center at St. Bartholomew’s (Barts) Hospital in London. Situated at the periphery of the square, Maggie’s Barts will replace an existing 1960s block that was once used for offices. An average of 3,100 new cancer patients is expected to use the facility each year.
Steven Holl said: “It is a great honor to design a Maggie’s Centre and a very special challenge to be given such an important central site in London. The hospital has been at the forefront of medical understanding for centuries. We are inspired by the deep history of the area, and particularly the nearby St. Bartholomew the Great church which has been in continuous use with marvelous music since 1143. Our proposal is like a vessel within a vessel within a vessel. In the spirit of music, architecture can be a vessel of transcendence.”
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The bamboo interior will be encircled by a concrete supporting structure. This concrete layer will then be wrapped within a glass case punctured by “notes of colored glass” that appear to float among the concrete, creating somewhat of an abstract neume notation.
Maggie’s Barts will cost £5m but building work will not start until £4.5m has been raised. It is hoped the Center could open in 2014 with a planning application being submitted in early 2013.
Laura Lee, chief executive of Maggie’s said: “We are very excited that Steven Holl is working with us to design a Maggie’s Centre. It is also a huge privilege to be able to build a Center at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and we look forward to opening our doors and helping Londoners who are affected by cancer.”
St. Bartholomew’s Hospital serves a population of 1.5m in North East London. It is the oldest hospital in the country and has always been at the forefront of medical knowledge and understanding. It was the first hospital to train female doctors and the first to trial high voltage radiotherapy for people with cancer. Today, it is home to one of the most advanced cancer centers in Europe with world-leading specialists and state-of-the-art technology.
The first Maggie’s centre opened in Edinburgh in 1996 and there are now 15 centers either open or under development across the UK and abroad. These include Edinburgh, Glasgow Gatehouse, Glasgow Gartnavel, Dundee, Highlands, Fife, West London, Cheltenham, Nottingham, South West Wales, Oxford, Lanarkshire, Aberdeen, North East and Hong Kong.
Maggie’s Centres are free to visit, no appointment is necessary and are for anyone affected by any type of cancer as well as their family and friends. Last year more than 91,770 people visited Maggie’s centres across the UK.
Maggie’s model of support has been so successful that it is being taken forward in Hong Kong, Barcelona and Scandinavia.