Maggie’s London, designed by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, was completed in 2008 and won the Stirling Prize for Architecture in 2009.
It is one of a series of Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres: a drop-in centre or ‘open house’ aimed at people living with cancer and family and friends, located in the grounds of Charing Cross Hospital.
From the start, the architect and landscape architect worked closely together to ensure not only that the building fitted into its context, but that it would sit within a calm landscape and setting. The project successfully integrates design traditions from a range of cultures – Scandinavian in colour and materials, Japanese in terms of garden design – but makes something uniquely inspiring from this assembly.
It demonstrates that a small, ‘hand-crafted’ and ‘domestic’ building can successfully create its own space and ethos within an institutional setting. The quality of the architecture and the landscape are an important ingredient in offering hope and support to users at a difficult time in their lives, giving them a status and dignity that many may feel has been taken away from them. The building also offers inspiration and a sense of uplift to all other hospital users, and creates a ‘feel good’ effect for the wider hospital campus.