Michael Hopkins has added his thoughts to the row over Steven Holl's plans for the New Maggie's Centre at St Bart's Hospital in London, with a letter to London City Planners saying that the design is in the wrong place and would ruin the setting of the 18th Century Great Hall. Hopkins, whose rival scheme received planning permission last month, says that the construction of the Maggie's Centre represented a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to restore the great hall to its original design which was only met by his plans to build the Maggie's centre in a different part of the St Bart's site.
Read on for more of Hopkins' criticisms
In addition to compromising the external appearance of the Great Hall, Hopkins added that the future of the building was at risk as the location of Holl's scheme does not allow for the addition of a wheelchair lift, cloakroom and toilets which would allow the Great Hall to be used as an events space - part of the plan proposed by the Friends of the Great Hall, the group which commissioned Hopkins' rival scheme in protest.
However Hopkins did not reserve his criticism just to the new building's effect on the Great Hall, saying that an alternative one- or two-storey design in a different location "would be closer in spirit, function and scale to the Maggie’s already built elsewhere."
However the Chief Executive of Maggie's, Laura Lee once again stressed her support for Steven Holl's scheme, saying that its position near the hospital's cancer wards, but also with direct access from the main road, was critical for patients and visitors who may not wish to enter the centre via the hospital. She also added that "suggested alternative sites put forward by the Friends present difficulties such as obstruction of light and would require a significant reduction in the number of people our centre supports."
Story via BD Online