Maggie’s, the charity which provides practical, emotional and social support for people with cancer, has applied for planning permission for a new Maggie’s Centre in the grounds of The Christie in Manchester, England. The Centre is designed by world-renowned architects Foster + Partners.
Working in partnership with The Christie - a global leader in cancer treatment and research - the new Maggie’s Centre will provide free practical, emotional and social support for anyone living with cancer as well as their family and friends. The Centre will significantly enhance the cancer support already offered at The Christie to include Maggie’s evidence-based core programme of support delivered in an uplifting non-clinical environment, as well as a comprehensive service of complementary therapies. The new Centre is due to open in 2016.
Maggie’s Chief Executive, Laura Lee said: “We are delighted that Lord Norman Foster is designing the Maggie’s Centre at The Christie. Great architecture is vital to the care Maggie’s offers, creating environments that are both calm and uplifting. The application for planning permission brings us one step closer to the Centre becoming a reality and being able to offer the highest quality cancer support to the people of the North West.”
Set in a peaceful garden, the existing green spaces inspired the Centre’s design, which draws upon natural themes that engage the outdoors. Arranged over a single storey, the natural timber structure focuses around a wide, central spine with the roof rising in the centre to create a mezzanine level beautifully illuminated with natural light.
Exposed lightweight beams and timber lattice support the roof while also defining different spaces. An integrated glass house extends from the south of the building, providing a space for people to gather and enjoy the therapeutic qualities of nature and the outdoors while the interior palette combines warm, natural wood and tactile fabrics.
Lord Norman Foster explains: “We are delighted to be designing a new Maggie’s Centre in Manchester - this project has a particular personal significance, as I was born in the city and have first-hand experience of the distress of a cancer diagnosis. I believe in the power of architecture to lift the spirits and help in the process of therapy.
"Within the Centre, there is a variety of spaces - visitors can gather around a big kitchen table, find a peaceful place to think or they can work with their hands in the greenhouse. Throughout, there is a focus on natural light and contact with the gardens. The timber frame, with its planted lattice helps to dissolve the architecture into the surrounding greenery.”
To complement Lord Norman Foster’s design, the surrounding gardens are designed by landscape designer Dan Pearson, combining a rich mix of spaces, from the working glass house to bright clusters of flowers and tranquil water features. The colours and sensory experience of nature will become part of the Centre through micro gardens and internal courtyards, which relate to the different spaces within the building.
To the south of the Centre, a pool and moving water will provide a calm space for reflection set amidst the greenery. Deep canopies will shelter the Centre’s open terraces from rain, allowing people to enjoy fresh air and the garden whatever the weather.