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Cullinan-designed Maggie’s centre in Newcastle opens

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The new £3 million Maggie’s North East cancer care centre designed by Ted Cullinan has opened its doors

Built in the car park of the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, the scheme is the sixteenth fully operational Maggie’s Centre - the first being built in Edinburgh in 1996 from plans drawn up by Maggie Keswick Jencks before she died from cancer in 1995.

A host of star architects have designed centres for the charity, including Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers and Rem Koolhaas and future facilities are proposed by Norman Foster in Manchester and Steven Holl in London.

Cullinan Studios’ Maggie’s North East scheme, Newcastle

Cullinan Studios’ Maggie’s North East scheme, Newcastle

Project description:

A vibrant landscape surround the sheltered centre, which itself has a partly enclosed courtyard. There are two wings of the Centre - one for counselling rooms and a large living room space, the other leads to the all-important kettle and kitchen table. A central library incorporates stairs up to a mezzanine level, covered by an angled roof covered in photovoltaic panels.

The mezzanine leads out onto the flat landscaped roof, screened by planting. A courtyard occupies the fourth quadrant, which visitors can see and walk out into from the kitchen and large meeting room.

The vibrantly planted embanked earth around the courtyard and building provides shelter and privacy, and a small pavilion creates an outdoor place for conversation or being alone in.

Allowing the building, roof and landscape to be fully accessible provides the users with a sense of ownership and allows for exploration and discovery on a relatively small site. Maggie’s Centres are somewhat domestic in character, having many of the features of a biggish house, and it has been found that they attract more women than men. So as well as the housey things, Ted’s centre has further things that both sexes might enjoy like gardening, barbecuing, hedge clipping, and outdoor games and gym equipment.

Previous story (AJ 17.01.2011)

Cullinan wins planning for Maggie’s Centre plans

Expected to start on site this summer, the scheme at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle features a landscaped roof garden complete with bowling green and exercise equipment

Lucy Spencer, project architect for Maggie’s North East, said: ‘The building incorporates solar panels on the roof and thick insulation which will contribute to making it very energy efficient and environmentally green.

‘It will also appear to be green, as there will be plants and flowers growing all over the building, with a meadow rolling up the surrounding earth banks, a sheltered courtyard which all the rooms open out onto and a green roof garden for visitors to use with beech hedges, lawns and trees.’

Laura Lee, the chief executive of Maggie’s, said:  ‘The granting of planning permission for the centre takes us closer towards realising our vision of having emotional and practical support in the region for those with cancer, their friends and family. 

‘The design of the Centre by Ted Cullinan is truly wonderful. It is now a case of continuing with our successful fundraising drive to reach the target of £3 million.  With such great backing from the local community, we are sure we can reach this target and commence building in the near future.’

Edward Cullinan Architects’ Maggie’s North East scheme, Newcastle

Edward Cullinan Architects’ Maggie’s North East scheme, Newcastle

Previous story (29.04.10)

Cullinan reveals Maggie’s Centre plans

Edward Cullinan Architects has unveiled plans for the Maggie’s North East cancer-care centre in Newcastle

The RIBA Royal Gold Medallist took on the project at Freeman Hospital after Foreign Office Architects was unable to commit when Maggie’s was given a new site at the hospital.

The building, which features two accommodation wings and a mezzanine level, will sit around a partly enclosed courtyard. It will be built over the next two years.

CZWG's Maggie’s Nottingham

CZWG’s Maggie’s Nottingham

CZWG has also unveiled final plans for its two-storey curvy box for Maggie’s Nottingham. With cladding to reflect the Maggie’s Centres corporate colour, it will be built at City Hospital campus, Nottingham University Hospital’s NHS Trust.

The Maggie’s cancer-care centres have a reputation for attracting high-profile names and producing impressive architecture. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners’ London centre at Charing Cross Hospital won the Stirling Prize last year.

Wilkinson Eyre has also drawn up plans for a new Maggie’s Oxford at Churchill Hospital, where Maggie’s currently runs a cancer-support service, while MJP Architects’ Maggie’s Cotswolds in Cheltenham completes later this year.

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