Norman Foster is the architect behind the design of a Maggie’s Centre that will offer a non-clinical environment for cancer sufferers who can stop by for advice or support. The centre will be located at The Christie hospital in south Manchester
According to Forster and Partners the building development will be the largest single-site centre in Europe and intends to “provide free practical, emotional and social support for anyone living with cancer as well as their family and friends.”
"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,” said Norman Foster.
“I believe in the power of architecture to lift the spirits and help in the process of therapy,” he continued. “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.”
The centre is designed as a single-story, natural wood building that is organized by a wide, central spine whose mezzanine level provides sufficient daylight throughout its interior. Wooden surfaces and tactile fabrics are used for the interior design, while the surrounding garden incorporates a variety of vegetation and flowers as well as water features. This will be achieved thanks to the hard work of many technical design engineers and on-site workers.
The building also features an all-glass area that provides gathering and interaction spaces for patients and family.
Depending on the response of the council, the new Centre can be operational by 2016.