A great visit with everyone from ATA to the Maggie’s Centre in Withington, Manchester this morning. Designed by Foster + Partners, it is the first of Lord Norman Foster’s projects in his home town and a beautiful place to spend time.
As drop-in centre for patients and their families suffering the effects of cancer we could only guess how much hope and comfort this building and it’s amazing staff must bring.
On the doorstep of Christie’s Hospital we found the front door firmly propped open. There is a breather space in the entrance which is welcoming and leads to the heart of the building -the generous & fresh kitchen and dining area. The island is where most initial conversations with a visitor begin much as in a home and the analogy to an over-sized home continues with large sitting rooms all with open fires for the winter and bright yet comfortable spaces for relaxing, sleeping or conversation all year round. All of the five staff have desks at first floor level along a long narrow mezzanine which shares a physical connection with each open space and a visual connection through high level windows with each therapy room. A 360 garden wraps the building and all of it’s many transition spaces that sit half way between inside and outside with green, voluminous planting the best part of which is the vegetable garden and the greenhouse at the building’s nose.
It was a fascinating experience to be able to visit the facility and yet another reason to be grateful that we live in this great city. Thanks to Manchester Architects for co-ordinating.