13.11.2018 Claudia Fuchs

A peaceful haven in the hospital world: Maggie’s Centre Barts

Photo: Iwan Baan

Steven Holl developed this multifaceted design in interaction with the historical existing buildings of the large hospital grounds, as can be seen in the video. During the day, Maggie’s Centre is a compact structure with a shimmering glass shell. In the evening, it becomes a light body that glows from within. The white-translucent glass façade contrasts with the massive, natural-stone façades of the historically protected old building and reinterprets its rows of stone blocks as a banded façade of glass panels. On the ground floor, transparent panes provide views both into and out of the introverted building. Colourful glass integrated into the panels create a further level of meaning. Inspired by neumes, graphic symbols used in medieval musical notation, they become notes on the bands of the façade, which serve as staves.

The matte glass façade screens the interior from hospital routine. The generous, light-flooded volume extends over three storeys. Depending on the time of day, the mood of the light changes, brought to life by the polychrome panes. The curved stairway, which defines the space as a sculptural element in its own right, leads past the open kitchenette and homey seating areas to consultation rooms, the library and the rooftop terrace. The building feels as familiar as a house and offers patients a positive, pleasant environment.

Photo: Iwan Baan

Photo: Iwan Baan

Photo: Iwan Baan

Photo: Iwan Baan

Photo: Iwan Baan

Section: Steven Holl Architects

Watercolour: Steven Holl

Watercolour: Steven Holl

Watercolour: Steven Holl

Watercolour: Steven Holl

Further information:

Structural engineers: Arup
Landscape architect: Darren Hawkes
Lighting designers: L’Observatoire International
Project Staff Steven Holl Architects: Steven Holl (design architect, principal), Chris McVoy (senior partner in charge), Dominik Sigg (project architect, associate), Bell Ying Yi Cai, Gemma Gene, Martin Kropac, Christina Yessios (project team)


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