Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres has confirmed that Steven Holl will be designing its new centre at Barts Hospital in London and Norman Foster will be drawing up concepts for The Christie in Manchester. The two new UK centres will be designed under the Maggie’s alternative architecture concept.
As the organisation’s website explains: “Maggie’s centres blend visionary architecture with warm, homely spaces, which inspire people to come in and feel comfortable as they seek out our support. Although each of our centres is distinctive and different, they all have intriguing, welcoming interiors that subtly relieve distress and build confidence. The unusual designs are also an antidote to the often impersonal hospital environment where people can feel inhibited and ‘processed’.”
Details are yet to be released about the design concepts but Maggie’s has released these soft watercolours by Steven Holl to whet the appetite of interested architects. The design of the Maggie’s Centres have become a hot topic in the industry with many big name architects lending their ideas to the scheme, including OMA, Zaha Hadid, Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners, Kisho Kurokawa Architects & Associates, and most recently, CZWG whose design has been shortlisted for the 2012 WAN AWARDS Healthcare Sector.
The series of centres across the UK (and one in Hong Kong) have become a lifeline for people living with cancer, whether they are the patients, family or carers. Maggie’s offers free psychological, informational and emotional support in a homely setting, quite apart from the clinical environment that often defines the patient experience.
Another centre, this time designed by Wilkinson Eyre, is due to start work in September and the Maggie’s team is currently working to progress with plans for its first base in Barcelona. With 7,000 new cases of cancer recorded each year in the city, there is a huge demand for support and care in the area.