|Locations||United Kingdom; Hong Kong, China; Barcelona, Spain|
|End User||Cancer patients and their families|
|Client||Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres|
|Funder||Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres|
|Design Firm||Frank Gehry (Dundee), Neil Gillespie (Lanarkshire), Zaha Hadid (Fife), Rem Koolhaas (Glasgow), Kisho Kurokawa (South West Wales), Richard Murphy (Edinburgh), David Page (Highlands), Richard Rogers (London), and Chris Wilkinson (Oxford)|
Interior of Maggie’s Dundee. Photo: Christopher Simon Sykes/ Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres
The physical experience of cancer is terrible, and unfortunately many patients and their families also are left with little recourse when it comes to understanding and coping with the psychological and emotional challenges of the illness.
Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres are built around the world as an alternative space where cancer patients and their families can receive counseling for the hardships of cancer within the context of a welcoming, supportive environment. There are 10 locations in the United Kingdom; one in Hong Kong, China; and six more are in the planning stages in the UK and Barcelona, Spain. The architecture, serene landscaping, and welcoming atmosphere provide a comfortable setting that stands in contrast to the institutional experience in which most cancer patients and their families find themselves immersed.
Maggie Keswick Jenks and her husband Charles Jenks began the Cancer Caring Centre project in 1994, after Maggie was diagnosed with cancer. As Charles says in The Architecture of Hope, a book about the project, “A Maggie’s Centre is meant to be welcoming, domestic, warm, skittish, personal, small-scaled and centered around a kitchen or a place to make coffee and tea.”
Centre namesake Maggie Jencks. Photo: Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre