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Heatherwick’s Yorkshire Maggie’s centre wins planning

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Heatherwick Studio has been given the go-ahead for a new Maggie’s Centre in the grounds of St James’s University Hospital in Leeds

The centre will be one of the cancer care charity’s largest so far, and features a series of ‘stepped planters’ which will provide both shared and private spaces.

Planned to be built next to the hospital’s £220 million Bexley Wing and among a number of multi-storey buildings, the centre will replace a small island of grass within the built up site.

Thomas Heatherwick of Heatherwick Studio, said: ‘The site is a small patch of green surrounded by the huge volumes of the existing hospital buildings. Instead of taking away the open space we wanted to make a whole building out of a garden.’

To complement Heatherwick’s design, the surrounding gardens are being created by award-winning landscape designer Marie-Louise Agius of Balston Agius.

Through planting a woodland of trees and creating planted roof spaces, Agius said she intended to create ‘an oasis in the concrete desert’.

Laura Lee, chief executive of Maggie’s, said: ‘We’re absolutely thrilled to have been granted planning permission to bring a Maggie’s Centre to Yorkshire. Creating a calm and uplifting environment to enable us to be able to provide our programme of support to people living with cancer is incredibly important and Heatherwick Studio’s wonderful design will allow us to do just that.

Heatherwick is the latest in a long line of high-profile designers to have been handed a commission by Maggie’s. Others who have designed centres for the charity include Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Richard Rogers, and Zaha Hadid.

Maggie’s now has to raise £5 million for the centre which is planned to open in 2017.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Congratulations to TH - a former fellow Manchester Poly graduate...but.....

    Correct me if I am wrong - he is not an architect, right? So is the AJ about to rebrand itself as the 'Architecture Journal' or continue, like the RIBA (who also should perhaps rebrand itself Royal Institutue of British Architecture) to use sleight of hand a la Derren Brown in convincing architects that it is their organ, when in reality it is already preparing its business model for 'life after architects'?
    Time for you guys to come clean and rename yourselves and stop riding the architect title?

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