Set within a garden space in Sutton, England, the new Maggie’s centre at the Royal Marsden welcomes guests into a safe, shell-like architecture designed by Ab Rogers. The building, which was opened earlier this year, is situated in close proximity to the Royal Marsden hospital and provides free practical, emotional and social support to those affected by cancer.
Located throughout the UK and Hong Kong, Maggie’s centres work alongside the NHS to provide additional care to people with cancer and their family and friends. Considering the charity’s vital work, the design by Ab Rogers seeks to create a calm oasis – a refuge to escape to and take strength from.
To manifest these notions of calm and refuge, the building is formed as a shell of five graduating volumes. However, this shape has been dictated by the internal functions and activities as Ab Rogers designed the scheme from the inside out. The floor plan is carefully organized to provide a range of spaces, from more open communal areas to the more closed private rooms for quiet reflection.
As well as arranging the floor plan to consider both private and communal functions, the design also makes use of natural light and transparency. When developing the scheme, Ab Rogers looked carefully at the movement of the sun, which resulted in the fan-like shape of the architecture. The positioning of the five volumes allows daylight to enter deep into the interior throughout the day while also providing visual connection across the building and views out to the surrounding garden.
Externally, the five volumes are clad in terracotta and glazed in graduating shades of red – from deep carmine to translucent coral. curving around an external courtyard area, this central point is mirrored internally by the double-height kitchen, which serves as the social gathering place and heart of the building.
The material palette has been selected to also reflect the concept of creating a welcoming and nurturing atmosphere. Douglas fir, birch ply and harris tweed are applied for their tactile and complex qualities. Along with built in furniture pieces containing art, objects and books, the interior design creates a relaxed, domestic environment while the balcony above maximizes views and fosters a sense of community. Be sure to check other creative red house.