- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 08 Dec 2019
Maggies Cancer Centre, Manchester
A new cancer centre designed by Foster + Partners was opened in Manchester in April 2016. Located in the grounds of The Christie Hospital, Maggie’s Cancer Centre was opened by HRH The Duchess of Cornwall – the president of Maggie’s.
Located across Britain and abroad, Maggie’s Centres are provide a welcoming ‘home away from home’ – a place of refuge where people affected by cancer can find emotional and practical support. Inspired by the blueprint for a new type of care set out by Maggie Keswick Jencks, they place great value upon the power of architecture to lift the spirits and help in the process of therapy.
The design of the Manchester centre aims to establish a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting and, appropriately, is first glimpsed at the end of a tree-lined street, a short walk from The Christie Hospital and its leading oncology unit.
The bronze roof rises in the centre to create a mezzanine level, naturally illuminated by triangular roof lights and supported by lightweight timber lattice beams that act as natural partitions between internal areas.
Throughout the centre, there is a focus on natural light, greenery and garden views. The rectilinear plan is punctuated by landscaped courtyards and the entire western elevation extends into a veranda, sheltered from the rain by the deep overhang of the roof.
The centre, designed and engineered by Foster + Partners, also features bespoke furniture designed by Norman Foster and Mike Holland who heads the industrial design team in the practice. These include kitchen units and tables, sideboards and other shelving units.
Lord Foster, Chairman and Founder of Foster + Partners, said:
“I have first-hand experience of the distress of a cancer diagnosis and understand how important Maggie’s Centres are as a retreat offering information, sanctuary and support. Our aim in Manchester, the city of my youth, was to create a building that is welcoming, friendly and without any of the institutional references of a hospital or health centre – a light-filled, homely space where people can gather, talk or simply reflect.
"That is why throughout the building there is a focus on natural light, greenery and views; with a greenhouse to provide fresh flowers, and an emphasis on the therapeutic qualities of nature and the outdoors. The timber frame, helps to connect the building with the surrounding greenery – externally, this structure will be partially planted with vines, making the architecture appear to dissolve into the gardens.”
Find out more here
Images and content courtesy of Foster + Partners.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- BRE wellbeing research paper competition.
- Building related illness.
- Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital.
- Changing lifestyles.
- Inclusive design.
- Indoor air quality.
- Indoor environmental quality.
- Our Town Hall, Manchester.
- Sick building syndrome.
- Snowdon Aviary, London Zoo.
- Towards a radical eclecticism.
- Wellbeing and buildings.
Featured articles and news
What future infrastructure provision might look like.
Highlighting the health benefits of home improvement.
Pavilions for music, entertainment, and leisure. Book review.
Broadening our understanding of Dublin’s chequered social history.
The charm of London's Cabmen's shelters.
Future Weather Files research tool looking for feedback.
Exploring the Colour Rendering Index.
Why it's important to find out what went wrong.
ECA reviews the shape of the construction job market.
Why proper room acoustics make a difference.
Initiative puts gas networks on the path to net zero.
WICE Woman Architectural Technologist of the Year 2019.
Traditional low-energy approaches to comfort.
Revisiting the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet in Ashford.
USA In-Use Version 6 is now available.
The rise of architectural barbarism.
In contentious political contexts heritage can be more fractious.