foster + partners' maggie's centre in manchester created as a garden retreat foster + partners' maggie's centre in manchester created as a garden retreat
apr 27, 2016

foster + partners' maggie's centre in manchester created as a garden retreat

foster + partners’ maggie’s centre in manchester created as a garden retreat
all images © nigel young / foster + partner

 

 

 

the foster + partners–designed maggie’s cancer centre in manchester has recently celebrated its inauguration attended by lord foster himself and the duchess of cornwall. first announced in 2014, after two years, the finalize scheme embodies the ethos of maggie centres in the UK and abroad. since 1996, maggie keswick jencks set out the blueprint for a new type of care set to create a ‘home away from home’ for people with cancer, as well as their family and friends and provide free practical, emotional and social support.

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foster’s scheme is focused on providing a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting

 

 

 

foster + partner’s scheme is set in a serene garden with aims to instill a domestic atmosphere 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. a distinctive feature of the architecture is the low profile highlighted by a timber lattice canopy. this lightweight structure act as natural partitions between different internal areas, visually dissolving the architecture into the surrounding gardens.

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the rectilinear plan is punctuated by landscaped courtyards

 

 

 

internally, the scheme combines a variety of spaces, from intimate private niches to a library, exercise rooms and places to gather. consistent to every maggie’s centre, at the heart of the building is the kitchen, which is centered on a large, communal table. meanwhile, the support offices are located 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.

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the greenhouse provided will be a space to grow flowers and other produce that can be used at the center

 

 

 

throughout the space, there is a constant focus on capitalizing natural light, greenery and views of the garden outside. the rectilinear plan is punctuated by landscaped courtyards and the entire western elevation extends into a wide veranda, which is sheltered from the rain by the deep overhang of the roof. sliding glass doors open the building up to a garden setting created by dan pearson studio.

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the beams act as natural partitions between different internal areas, visually dissolving the architecture into the
surrounding gardens

 

 

 

each treatment and counseling room orientated on the eastern façade faces its own private garden. the south end of the building, extends to embrace a greenhouse – a celebration of light and nature – which provides a garden retreat, a space for people to gather, to work with their hands and enjoy the therapeutic qualities of nature and the outdoors.

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the roof canopy is composed of a lightweight lattice timber frame

 

 

 

‘I have first-hand experience of the distress of a cancer diagnosis and understand how important maggie’s centres are as a retreat offering information, sanctuary and support.’ comments lord foster ‘our aim in manchester, the city of my youth, was to create a building that is welcoming, friendly and without any of the institutional references of a hospital or health center – a light-filled, homely space where people can gather, talk or simply reflect. that is why throughout the building there is a focus on natural light, greenery and views; with a greenhouse to provide fresh flowers, and an emphasis on the therapeutic qualities of nature and the outdoors. the timber frame, helps to connect the building with the surrounding greenery – externally, this structure will be partially planted with vines, making the architecture appear to dissolve into the gardens.’

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 each treatment and counseling room on the eastern façade faces its own private garden

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a short walk from the christie hospital and its leading oncology unit

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lord foster and the duchess of cornwall celebrates the opening of maggie’s centre

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