OMA completes maggie's gartnavel in glasgow, scotland OMA completes maggie's gartnavel in glasgow, scotland
oct 03, 2011

OMA completes maggie's gartnavel in glasgow, scotland

international practice OMA has completed ‘maggie’s gartnavel’, a cancer care center located on the gartnavel hospital’s grounds in glasgow, scotland. opened to the pubic today, the complex is wrapped around a landscaped courtyard and visually connected to the encompassing natural scenery, generating a series of warm and inviting spaces to provide emotional support for families affected by cancer.

image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA (also main image)



the ring arrangement spatially interconnects a dining area, kitchen, offices, multipurpose space, and a range of small and large counseling rooms and with permeable glass boundaries to access the internal garden. resisting the institutional hospital atmosphere, the single level structure contains low ceilings producing a human scale sanctuary. subtle changes in the site’s topography are realized with adaptive floor and ceiling heights.

interconnected spaces with views of the interior vegetated courtyard
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA



clad overhead with warm-hued veneer, the interior corridors evoke the feeling of an open pavilion in the woods while a quaint nook is entirely surfaced with curved wooden boards and naturally illuminated through a skylight. see designboom’s initial coverage of this project here.

glass boundary between corridor and courtyard
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

outward views to the encompassing wooded landscape
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

the on-site kitchen
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

the library
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

the facility’s small counseling room
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

the building is set within a wooded landscape
image by philippe ruault, courtesy of OMA

image courtesy of OMA



project info:


project: maggie’s cancer caring centre
client: maggie keswick jencks cancer caring centres trust
status: completed september 2011
location: glasgow, scotland
site: a green knoll on the grounds of gartnavel hospital
program: 534 m2 comprising counseling rooms, sitting rooms, offices and a large multi-purpose space.
partners in charge: rem koolhaas, ellen van loon
associate in charge: richard hollington III
team: atsuo arii, josh beck, alexander giarlis, stephen hodgson, takuya hosokai, maria-chiara piccinelli, koen stockbroekx


implementation architects:
structure: sinclair knight merz
services: kj tait engineers
landscape: lily jencks
fixed shelves: vincent de rijk


  • not so certain I would consider it “warm and inviting” (although context is everything and it is in Glasgow)

    having said that, I still like it… very much

    dbkii says:
  • I don’t think the designers have an understanding of the gravity of the situation that the patients are in. As much as I respect OMA I don’t think that they are well suited to designing this sort of building. There are some nice gestures there, but whilst OMA are great with conceptualising schemes, it’s really the handling of the materials that makes a difference in these sorts of buildings – not one of OMA’s strong points.

    mong says:

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