Maggie’s Leeds

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Maggie’s Leeds

Maggie’s is a charitable initiative co-founded in 1995 by garden designer Maggie and her husband, architecture critic Charles Jencks. Their vision was to create a cancer care centre, a safe and warm space where people could access emotional and psychological support surrounded by good architecture and uplifting landscape.

Something about this cause has captured the imagination of the architectural community – starting with the Stirling Prize nominated Richard Murphy Architects’ design in Edinburgh. Since then, more Maggie’s Centres have been built and it’s become a badge of honour to be invited to work on one.

The motivation is always altruistic and to create a calm space for sufferers and their families. They are meant to be homely, avoiding any hint of a clinic. Heatherwick Studios inspiration was bath-tubs found in his grandmother’s garden which over-flowed with plants. Internally, the warmth of timber reinforces the domestic quality.

Light Bureau’s approach was to emphasise the tranquil atmosphere by placing warm lighting in niches which hold plants, pictures, books and other household things – making them rather than the lighting the priority. Elsewhere, simple uplights illuminate the soffits. Externally, lighting is very much garden-scale and appears unstructured like the planting, but is actually all carefully planned.

Light Bureau is proud to have worked on this centre and we hope that Maggie’s Leeds fulfils its aim of supporting those who need it.

Architects: Heatherwick Studio
Client: Maggie’s
Landscape Architect: Balston Agius
Electrical Engineer: Max Fordham
Photography: Hufton + Crow