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Maggie's Southampton, Hampshire

Words:
RIBA Regional Jury

Structural glazed ceramic blocks and ethereal mirrors embody the fragile robustness of the spirit of Maggie’s Centres at AL_A’s 2024 RIBA South Award-winning project

Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow

2024 RIBA South Award

Maggie's Southampton, Hampshire
AL_A for Maggie's

Contract value: £2.95m
GIA: 350m2
Cost per m2: £8,428

The architect has turned a hospital car park in Southampton into a sanctuary for cancer patients, gracefully surrounded by a miniature New Forest designed by Sarah Price Landscapes. Built using structural glazed ceramic blocks and ethereal mirrors, its materials embody a fragile robustness which emulates the spirit of the Maggie’s Centre. The archetypal plan has four walls radiating to create four distinct spaces, each with its own aspect and relationship to the landscape beyond. At the centre of this architectural compass, a kitchen and table, set beneath a plunging rooflight, provide a point of communion. From here, you can easily navigate to a variety of spaces, from intimate rooms to generous salons. The whole centre acts as a public living room that allows people to privately process the trauma of living with cancer.

  • Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
    Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
  • Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
    Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
  • Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
    Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
  • Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
    Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
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The four walls change in appearance as you circulate through the non-hierarchical spaces, with different glazes and fins playing with light and colour. Although beautiful and decorative, they are actually load-bearing and support the timber roof structure and highly insulating sedum roof.

Subtly sunken, with gardens banked around to ensure you forget the car park and beyond, the architecture blurs boundaries between building and landscape, exterior and interior, public and intimate, hospital and home. This balance is delicately achieved through careful compositions and close collaborations, creating spaces that make you want to stop and rest.

  • Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
    Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
  • Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
    Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
  • Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
    Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
  • Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
    Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
  • Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
    Maggie's Southampton. Hufton and Crow
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The visiting jury naturally congregated around the bright yellow kitchen island, with the centre’s staff sharing stories. With a matching yellow toy trolley that suggests every space is open to children, you can immediately see in all directions how the variety of different domestic interiors can support people to recover or come to terms with illness. We end in quiet solitude, comforted to know that places like this exist in a world too often confronted by cancer.

See the rest of the RIBA South winners hereAnd all the RIBA Regional Awards here

To see the whole RIBA Awards process visit architecture.com

RIBA Regional Awards 2024 sponsored by EH Smith and Autodesk

Credits

Contractor Sir Robert McAlpine
Structural/environmental/M&E engineer Arup
Quantity surveyor/cost consultant Gardiner & Theobald
Landscape architect Sarah Price Landscapes
Lighting design SEAM
Ceramics consultant Ceramica Cumella

 

Credit: AL_A
Credit: AL_A
Credit: AL_A
Credit: AL_A

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