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Located across Britain and abroad, Maggie’s Centres are conceived to provide a welcoming ‘home away from home’ – a place of refuge where people affected by cancer can find emotional and practical support. Inspired by the blueprint for a new type of care set out by Maggie Keswick Jencks, they place great value upon the power of architecture to lift the spirits and help in the process of therapy.  The design of the Manchester centre aims to establish a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting and, appropriately, is first glimpsed at the end of a tree-lined street, a short walk from The Christie Hospital and its leading oncology unit. The building occupies a sunny site and is arranged over a single storey, keeping its profile low and reflecting the residential scale of the surrounding streets.  The roof rises in the centre to create a mezzanine level, naturally illuminated by triangular roof lights and it is supported by lightweight timber lattice beams.  The beams act as natural partitions between different internal areas, visually dissolving the architecture into the surrounding gardens.  The centre combines a variety of spaces, from intimate private niches to a library, exercise rooms and places to gather and share a cup of tea.  The heart of the building is the kitchen, which is centred on a large, communal table.  Institutional references, such as corridors and hospital signs have been banished in favour of home-like spaces.  To that end the materials palette combines warm, natural wood and tactile surfaces. Staff will be unobtrusive, yet close and accessible.  Support offices are placed on a mezzanine level positioned on top of a wide central spine, with toilets and storage spaces below, maintaining natural visual connections across the building. View more View full description
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