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MacEwen longlist: Maggie's Merseyside

A recycled building with a therapeutic connection to nature

Carmody Groarke for Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Trust

Location: Bebington, Wirral

Carmody Groarke Maggie’s and Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is an new interim facility in the outstanding natural landscape of the Wirral, Merseyside. The centre serves residents of Merseyside, Cheshire and the surrounding area offering free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends.

Built on the grounds of specialist NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are warm and welcoming places, with qualified professionals on hand to offer a programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. As The Clatterbidge Cancer Centre proposes to expand its services into central Liverpool, Maggie’s required a creative, interim solution to advance alongside the hospital’s future development plans.

The new Maggie's Centre is adjacent to the Clatterbridge hospital facilities and is sited to regard a single, magnificent panoramic view over the farming fields of the Wirral landscape. Each room takes advantage of this view, as well as looking onto several secluded gardens enclosed by the building’s perimeter. In this way, a series of treatment rooms for communal meetings and singular retreat are created, all with a direct and therapeutic connection to nature.

The construction of the centre takes advantage of radically improvised and transformed site cabins, including the 11m long ‘London Dresser’ commissioned by the mayor of London for the London 2012 Olympics celebrations. The structures are arranged efficiently together around the position of mature trees on the site. The centre is enveloped in a bespoke fibreglass wall that creates a mixture of inside and outside spaces and contributes to its unusual identity.

The new building will be one of the first ‘interim’ Maggie’s Centres, with the primary oncology care being eventually moved permanently to Liverpool City Centre. The building’s intended lifespan is only seven years. 


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