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Maggies Centres: The Latest Architecture and News

EMBT Breaks Ground on Pioneering Cancer Center in Barcelona

17:15 - 7 April, 2017
EMBT Breaks Ground on Pioneering Cancer Center in Barcelona, Render – Kálida Sant Pau Centre. Image © Playtime
Render – Kálida Sant Pau Centre. Image © Playtime

EMBT has broken ground on Kálida Sant Pau, a new cancer treatment center located in Barcelona, Spain. Led by EMBT co-founder Benedetta Tagliabue, the pioneering project will provide practical, emotional and social support to patients that complements more conventional medical treatment. The latest project in the Maggie’s Center global network, the center will offer free programs that are “accessible and provided in a warm and welcoming purpose built space where you can ask questions and seek advice in order to feel supported, informed and understood.”

Steven Holl on Combining Heritage and Modern Healthcare Design at His Maggie's Centre Barts

09:30 - 8 November, 2016
Steven Holl on Combining Heritage and Modern Healthcare Design at His Maggie's Centre Barts, Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

This article was originally published by Metropolis Magazine as "Q&A: Steven Holl."

For twenty years, Maggie's Centres have been providing cancer treatment to patients within thoughtful, beautiful spaces designed by renowned architects like Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, and Zaha Hadid. Steven Holl's Maggie's Center Barts, located adjacent to St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London, is slated to open at the end of this year. While the design has been somewhat controversial in the UK due to its contemporary nature, the cancer care facility incorporates innovative lighting, sustainable materials, and a compact structure in a way that is—according to the architect—entirely complementary to its historical neighbors. We spoke with the renowned architect to learn more about the project and what it has meant to him over the past four years.

AL_A Wins Planning for Southampton Maggie's Center

16:00 - 5 January, 2016
AL_A Wins Planning for Southampton Maggie's Center, © AL_A
© AL_A

UPDATE: AL_A has won planning permission for their Southampton Maggie's Center design. According to a report by the Architects' Journal, the 420 square-meter "disappearing" building will be the charity's 19th center. It is set to open in 2017.

Amanda Levete Architects (AL_A) has submitted plans for a new Maggie's Center in the English coastal city of Southampton. Sited at the Southampton General Hospital, the proposed center will provide free practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer and their family and friends. The new building aims to provide a warm and welcoming sanctuary within the built-up hospital environment.

"Bringing a bit of magic to the place, the building emerges from this wild naturalistic landscape with an almost ethereal clarity," described AL_A. "Subtle, understated and imbued with light, it is designed to lift the weight from the shoulders of all who visit and work there."

dRMM Submits Plans for a New Maggie's Centre in Oldham

04:00 - 6 October, 2015
dRMM Submits Plans for a New Maggie's Centre in Oldham, Model of proposed Maggie's Centre in Oldham, UK. Image © dRMM
Model of proposed Maggie's Centre in Oldham, UK. Image © dRMM

London-based practice dRMM have submitted plans for a new Maggie's Centre in Oldham, a metropolitan area north east of Manchester. Maggie's, a UK charity famed for its cancer care centres, is also well known for commissioning world-renowned architects to design their spaces. This latest proposal will be sited within the grounds of the Royal Oldham Hospital, becoming the second centre of its kind in Greater Manchester following Foster + Partners' current project in central Manchester.

Heatherwick Wins Planning for New Maggie’s Centre in Leeds

14:35 - 3 August, 2015
Heatherwick Wins Planning for New Maggie’s Centre in Leeds, © Heatherwick Studio
© Heatherwick Studio

Heatherwick Studio has received planning permission to build a new Maggie's center on the St James' University Hospital grounds in Leeds. Aiming to harness the therapeutic effect of plants for the benefit of the center's cancer patients, the building was designed as a series of stepped "planters" that intertwine to form a unique and restorative layout of inside, outside, private and public space.

"The site is a small patch of green surrounded by the huge volumes of the existing hospital buildings. Instead of taking away the open space we wanted to make a whole building out of a garden," said Thomas Heatherwick in a press release. 

Thomas Heatherwick Unveils Design for Maggie's Centre in Leeds

09:05 - 10 June, 2015
Thomas Heatherwick Unveils Design for Maggie's Centre in Leeds, © Heatherwick Studio
© Heatherwick Studio

Maggie's, the UK charity famed for its cancer care centers designed by world-renowned architects, has released a proposal for a new building designed by Heatherwick Studio. The new center is planned to be built on the grounds of the St James' University Hospital in Leeds, and was submitted for planning permission this morning.

The design consists of a series of stepped "planters" which aim to harness the therapeutic effect of plants for the benefit of the center's users. The building's public and private interior spaces are woven both in between these elements, and into the interior space of the planters themselves.

Norman Foster's Manchester Maggie's Centre Breaks Ground

05:00 - 22 April, 2015
Norman Foster's Manchester Maggie's Centre Breaks Ground, © Foster + Partners
© Foster + Partners

After being granted planning permission last year, Norman Foster's new Maggie’s Cancer Centre in his hometown of has broken ground. The project is being built at The Christie, one of Europe’s leading cancer centres and the largest single-site centre in Europe. According to Foster + Partners, the new centre will "provide free practical, emotional and social support for anyone living with cancer as well as their family and friends." Surrounded by the Centre’s existing, lush gardens designed by Dan Pearson, Foster’s proposed structure aims to tap into the therapeutic qualities of nature by engaging the outdoors.

Legal Challenge Dropped After Maggie's Agrees Changes to Holl's St Bart's Design

00:00 - 8 December, 2014
Legal Challenge Dropped After Maggie's Agrees Changes to Holl's St Bart's Design, Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

A legal challenge against Steven Holl's design for the new Maggie's Centre at St Bart's Hospital in London has been dropped, after Holl and Maggie's agreed to change the design. The challenge was brought by the Friends of the Great Hall, a group that has been campaigning against Holl's design and arguing that it would have a detrimental effect on the adjacent Great Hall designed by James Gibb in the 18th century.

Holl's design narrowly won planning permission in July, however the Friends of the great hall launched the judicial review a month later as a final attempt to block the scheme.

Artworks by Architects to be Auctioned for Maggie's Centres

01:00 - 24 November, 2014
Artworks by Architects to be Auctioned for Maggie's Centres, "Unseen Spaces" by Ben Johnson. Image Courtesy of Maggie's
"Unseen Spaces" by Ben Johnson. Image Courtesy of Maggie's

For its annual Charity Christmas Auction, this year London's Anise Gallery is planning to raise money for Maggie's, the cancer care charity which has commissioned high profile buildings from architects such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, OMA, Richard Rogers and Snøhetta. The Anise Gallery's auction features works by both artists and architects, including four architects who have contributed Maggie's Centres themselves: Ted Cullinan, Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre, and Piers Gough of CZWG, responsible for the Newcastle, Oxford, and Nottingham Centres respectively.

Others featured in the auction include architects Alison Brooks, Peter Murray, Jack Pringle, Christophe Egret, Rab Bennetts Je Ahn and Stuart Piercy, alongside artists including Ben Johnson, Norman Ackroyd and Jeanette Barnes. Until the auction on December 6th, all the works are on display at the Anise Gallery, however online bidding opens on November 26th here - alternatively, check out a selection of the available lots after the break.

Untitled by Christophe Egret. Image Courtesy of Maggie's "Cranes at Blackfriars" by Jeanette Barnes. Image Courtesy of Maggie's Untitled by Kyle Henderson. Image Courtesy of Maggie's "Borough Market November 14" by Nick Hirst. Image Courtesy of Maggie's + 18

Design With Empathy: An Exhibit Honoring Maggie's Architecture of Cancer Care

00:00 - 12 September, 2014
Design With Empathy: An Exhibit Honoring Maggie's Architecture of Cancer Care, Snohetta - Maggie's Aberdeen, 2013. Image Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art
Snohetta - Maggie's Aberdeen, 2013. Image Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art

Organized by the New York School of Interior Design, and curated for CMOA by Raymund Ryan, curator of architecture, Carnegie Museum of Art is hosting a new exhibit: Maggie's Centres: A Blueprint for Cancer Care. Opening September 13, the exhibit showcases the extraordinary Maggie's Centres, works of integrated architecture designed to address essential human needs and the everyday challenges of cancer patients undergoing treatment. The work of Frank Gehry, Piers Gough, Steven Holl, Rem Koolhaas, and Richard Rogers have been selected to be included in the exhibition, and provide insight into how some of the most influential architects of our age have sought to positively alter the look, and more significantly, the feel, of healthcare facilities.

David Page, Page\Page Architects - Maggie's Highlands, 2005; Landscape - Charles Jencks. Image Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art Piers Gough, CZWG Architects - Maggie's Rotterdam, 2011. Image Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art Frank Gehry, Gehry Partners, LLP - Maggie's Dundee, 2003. Image Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art Frank Gehry, Gehry Partners, LLP - Maggie's Hong Kong, 2013. Image Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art + 12

Thomas Heatherwick Selected for Latest Maggie's Centre

00:00 - 28 July, 2014
Thomas Heatherwick Selected for Latest Maggie's Centre, Heatherwick's trademark ingenuity, demonstrated in previous projects such as the London Garden Bridge proposal, will be needed for the difficult site in Leeds. Image Courtesy of Arup
Heatherwick's trademark ingenuity, demonstrated in previous projects such as the London Garden Bridge proposal, will be needed for the difficult site in Leeds. Image Courtesy of Arup

The Maggie's cancer charity has announced Thomas Heatherwick as the latest high-profile designer who will contribute to the Maggie's Centre program, with a site at the new Bexley Wing of St James's University Hospital in Leeds. The new centre will be the first Maggie's in Yorkshire, with Heatherwick joining the likes of Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry and Steven Holl in the list of Maggie's Centre designers.

More on the appointment after the break

Steven Holl's Maggie's Centre Gains Planning Permission

00:00 - 18 July, 2014
Steven Holl's Maggie's Centre Gains Planning Permission, Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

Steven Holl's designs for a Maggie's Centre at St Bart's Hospital in London have finally been approved, after a tense debate among the City of London Planning Committee which culminated in a vote of 11 to 10 in favour of the design. The approval puts an end to a year of controversy, after Holl's first attempt failed to gain planning (the first time a Maggie's Centre has ever been declined permission) and a protest group commissioned a rival scheme by Hopkins Architects which gained planning permission in April.

More on the decision after the break

Michael Hopkins Criticizes Holl's Maggie's Centre Plans

00:00 - 27 May, 2014
Michael Hopkins Criticizes Holl's Maggie's Centre Plans, Steven Holl's design for Maggie's Centre St Bart's. Image Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl's design for Maggie's Centre St Bart's. Image Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

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

Maggie's Centre Cardiff Receives Planning Permission

00:00 - 6 May, 2014
Maggie's Centre Cardiff Receives Planning Permission, Courtesy of Maggie's
Courtesy of Maggie's

A design by Dow Jones Architects for a new Maggie's Centre in Wales has received planning permission. The centre will enhance the existing cancer care facilities at Velindre Cancer Centre in Cardiff which provides support across South-Eastern Wales. The building sits in gardens designed by RHS Gold Medallist Cleve West, and has an intimate relationship with the surrounding landscape, with rooms that open onto woodland gardens.

Read more about the design after the break

Hopkins Architects Maggie's Centre Gets Planning Permission Over Rival Holl Scheme

00:00 - 30 April, 2014
Steven Holl's Design. The Great Hall and Archive Building is on the left. Image Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl's Design. The Great Hall and Archive Building is on the left. Image Courtesy of Steven Holl Architects

A rival to Steven Holl Architects' design for the Maggie's Centre at St Barts Hospital in London has received planning permission. The alternative scheme was commissioned by a group called “Friends of the Great Hall and Archive”, who believe the proposal by Steven Holl Architects would threaten the 18th century, Grade I* listed Great Hall. The newly approved scheme, designed by Hopkins Architects, proposes a different site for the new cancer care centre.

After their initial scheme was rejected, Steven Holl Architects' revised design was submitted for planning approval last week, with a decision expected in the summer.

Read on for reaction to the two rival schemes

The Story of Maggie's Centres: How 17 Architects Came to Tackle Cancer Care

01:00 - 27 April, 2014
The Story of Maggie's Centres: How 17 Architects Came to Tackle Cancer Care, Dundee, Scotland, 2003 by Frank Gehry / Courtesy of Maggie's Centres. ImageThe third center was designed by Frank Gehry, a close friend of Maggie's. “Frank gave us so much publicity, and allowed us to raise the money,” Jencks says. Each center is self-financed through donations.
Dundee, Scotland, 2003 by Frank Gehry / Courtesy of Maggie's Centres. ImageThe third center was designed by Frank Gehry, a close friend of Maggie's. “Frank gave us so much publicity, and allowed us to raise the money,” Jencks says. Each center is self-financed through donations.

Maggie's Centres are the legacy of Margaret Keswick Jencks, a terminally ill woman who had the notion that cancer treatment environments and their results could be drastically improved through good design. Her vision was realized and continues to be realized today by numerous architects, including Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, and Snøhetta - just to name a few. Originally appearing in Metropolis Magazine as Living with Cancer,” this article by Samuel Medina features images of Maggie's Centres around the world, taking a closer look at the organization's roots and its continued success through the aid of architects.

It was May 1993, and writer and designer Margaret Keswick Jencks sat in a windowless corridor of a small Scottish hospital, dreading what would come next. The prognosis was bad—her cancer had returned—but the waiting, and the waiting room, were draining. Over the next two years until her death, she returned several times for chemo drips. In such neglected, thoughtless spaces, she wrote, patients like herself were left to “wilt” under the desiccating glare of fluorescent lights.

Wouldn’t it be better to have a private, light-filled space in which to await the results of the next bout of tests, or from which to contemplate, in silence, the findings? If architecture could demoralize patients—could “contribute to extreme and mental enervation,” as Keswick Jencks observed—could it not also prove restorative?

Highlands, Scotland, 2005 by Page\Park Architects / Courtesy of Page\Park Architects. ImageA collaboration between Page\Park and Charles Jencks, Maggie's Centre Inverness at Highlands weaves together building and landscape in a unified composition. The design invokes the formal properties of mitosis or cell division; scaled up, they are manifested in the swirling landscape mounds and the center's spiraling form. "The cell is the unit of life: dynamic, really exciting, a factory of life itself, and I thought it was time to celebrate the cell," Jencks has said in the past. Fife, Scotland, 2006 by Zaha Hadid Architects / © Werner Huthmacher. ImageAll sharp angles and painted a sinister black, Zaha Hadid's Fife center isn't the first thing you'd expect from a Maggie's Centre. The exterior invited comparisons to a bunker, despite the airy, humane spaces within. "Zaha got a lot of criticism and her building is bloody good," Jencks says of his former student's design. The building was the architect's first in the UK. Manchester, England, 2016 by Fosters + Partners / Courtesy of Fosters + Partners. ImageThe next center is set to open in Manchester, where Norman Foster was born and raised. “Norman came to us, and I was waiting because he is an old friend of mine,” Jencks says. “He had cancer, and because of his own experiences, he was really interested in doing this. He’s got everything he’s ever wanted in this building.” Aberdeen, Scotland, 2013 by Snøhetta / © Philip Vile . ImageThe center's cocoon-like shell packs a big, Niemeyer-esque punch despite its modest proportions. The interiors, however, reveal a Scandinavian influence, with extensive timber coverings and exquisite stone accents. The building has been nicknamed "the Pebble" by locals. + 11