15.07.2022 Barbara Zettel

Maggie’s Centre Leeds by Heatherwick Studio

The foundation named in honour of founder Maggie Keswick Jenks has opened 29 centres since its inception. The peaceful, cheerfully designed counselling centres offer cancer patients both emotional and practical support. Heatherwick Studio positioned the wooden construction behind Maggie’s Centre Leeds on a sloping lot on the grounds of St. James’s University Hospital. Three tiered pavilions are grouped around an open communal area. The core and exterior walls have been executed using wood-frame techniques; the ceilings are of glulam. Nearly all the building components were prefabricated in Switzerland of sustainably sourced sprucewood and then assembled on-site in just eight weeks. Radially arranged glulam fins around the pavilions bear the roof elements, which feature intensive rooftop planting that reflects the forest landscape of Yorkshire. Inside, haptically appealing natural materials, soft light and potted plants provide a pleasant, inviting ambience that works equally to enable retreat and social encounters.

Heatherwick Studio is a team comprising more than 180 problem solvers who have made it their mission to improve the physical world that surrounds us. Heatherwick Studio concentrates on large-scale projects in cities around the world, primarily on those with positive social effects. The team members work as practical inventors without any particular style. They are motivated to design sensitive, interesting places that include and celebrate the complexity of the real world. Their approach consists in allowing themselves to be guided by human experience rather than a fixed design dogma.

Completed projects by Heatherwick include a number of internationally acclaimed buildings such as the recently inaugurated Little Island at Pier 55, which is a new park and event venue in New York; the prize-winning Zeitz MOCAA in Cape Town; the Learning Hub at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore; Coal Drops Yard in London and the British pavilion for Expo 2010 in Shanghai. The studio is currently working on 30 live projects in ten different countries: these include Lantern House, which is a new residential building for Related in Manhattan, mixed-use projects in Shanghai and Tokyo as well as large new headquarters for Google in Silicon Valley and London (in collaboration with BIG).

Read more in Detail 7/8.2022 and in our databank Detail Inspiration.

Architecture: Heatherwick Studio
Landscape architecture: Balston Agius

Video: Heatherwick Studio
Photo:  Hufton+Crow


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