Maggie’s Centres seek to provide ‘the architecture of hope’. In practical terms they offer support for cancer patients, their families and friends. In emotional terms they offer a parallel psychological service to the demands of illness and hospital medical treatment.
A Maggie’s Centre can be likened to a house; ours is a house full of surprises. The building hovers over a proposed garden designed by Jinny Blom, supported on very slender columns. The garden offers ‘open air rooms’ framed by pine and birch trees, with a reflecting pool of rainwater discovered underneath the building.
From this central oasis trees grow up through the building, bringing nature into the interior. The building is about content, not form. On entering the deliberately simple timber box over a bridge, the visitor is confronted with space, light, trees and unexpected views down to the garden pool below, up to the sky, and out to the Pennine horizon.
The simultaneous need for privacy and collectivity is met with discreet meeting rooms and niches carved from a ‘thick’ wall, in the otherwise completely open plan interior space, planned around the central lightwell. The materials are dRMM’s characteristic engineered timber and glass and the outside reflects the presence and colours of the garden.
Maggie’s Oldham has been made possible by the enormous generosity of the Stoller Charitable Trust, which has fully funded the Centre.