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Metropolitan Workshop gets go-ahead to extend MacCormac’s Maggie’s Centre

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Metropolitan Workshop has won planning for an extension of Richard MacCormac’s Maggie’s cancer care centre in Cheltenham

The original scheme, a refurbished Grade II-listed Victorian Lodge, was designed by the late MacCormac’s practice, MJP Architects, and opened in 2010.

The expansion will help increase the capacity of the centre, which is currently ‘creaking at the seams’, according to Maggie’s property director Chris Watson.

The narrow site lies within the grounds of Cheltenham General Hospital on the bank of the River Chelt.

Metropolitan Workshop’s single-storey addition will sit alongside the lodge and will provide up to 85m² of floor space. In addition to a new group space there will be new snugs, a WC and storage.

The heart of the new centre will be a lozenge-shaped space containing the kitchen and a group table.

The primary south-facing elevation of the proposed extension is constructed of rammed concrete and cut stone, which will complement the buff brick of the Lodge.

In 2013 Maggie’s approached MacCormac with a brief to reconfigure and further extend the centre.

At that time MacCormac, who was himself battling cancer, included former colleague and Metropolitan Workshop founder Neil Deely in early conversations about the design. 

The extension’s architectural language is derived from MacCormac and Deelys’ initial sketches in 2013 and further influenced by the forms of the outlying ‘refuges’ of the original scheme.

Deely said: ’Richard conceived the original building as a series of cabinets, like a big piece of joinery. Conceptually, this idea was compatible with Maggies’ approach to the layout of their centres.

’Unlike in more institutional buildings, the spaces are unrestricted and flow into one another, aiding the open and convivial ethos of Maggie’s.

’We have continued Richard’s idea of cabinetry with furniture that subdivides the different functions without the need for internal doors or full-height walls.’

Maggie’s property director Chris Watson said: ’We are so pleased to be in the very capable hands of Neil and his team at Metropolitan Workshop.

’They have been able to develop a design that perfectly complements Richard MacCormac’s original work. Over 10 years our centre has been able to help a huge number of people affected by cancer but we really are creaking at the seams. The additional space that the extension will provide is hugely welcome.’

MacCormac, who was best known for buildings including the Sainsbury Building (1982) and the Garden Quadrangle at Oxford (1993) died in 2014, aged 75.

Internal view 02

Metropolitan Workshop’s proposed rework of Richard MacCormac’s Maggie’s Centre

Metropolitan Workshop’s proposed rework of Richard MacCormac’s Maggie’s Centre

Project data

Client: Maggie’s Cancer Care centre
Architect: Metropolitan Workshop
Landscape architect: Facer Hoffman Landscape Design
Structural engineer: Price and Myers
M&E consultant: WSP
Quantity surveyor: AFA
Gross internal floor area: 85m² - new build 100m²

Maggies ground floor plan

Metropolitan Workshop’s proposed rework of Richard MacCormac’s Maggie’s Centre - ground floor plan

Metropolitan Workshop’s proposed rework of Richard MacCormac’s Maggie’s Centre - ground floor plan

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