Cultural crawl for Maggie's

Cancer care charity's sponsored night walk through London includes visits to key buildings as well as further surprise cultural content

Every year Maggie’s, the cancer-support organisation that calls on the world’s top architects to design its acclaimed domestic-scale care centres, organises an all-night fundraising walk in London. But as you would expect from Maggie’s, it is not content with your standard sponsored walk. Maggie’s Culture Crawl, run in association with Open House, is described as ‘part night-walk, part cultural adventure around London’, and takes in key buildings within the capital.

  • Maggies 2014 Culture Crawl map.
    Maggies 2014 Culture Crawl map.
  • The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, if you look closely.
    The Foreign & Commonwealth Office, if you look closely.
  • Chelsea Physic Garden.
    Chelsea Physic Garden.
  • Fulham Palace.
    Fulham Palace.
  • The Serpentine Sackler Gallery.
    The Serpentine Sackler Gallery. · Credit: © Luke Hayes 201
  • rchitecture's creative factory: Foster + Partners' Studio.
    rchitecture's creative factory: Foster + Partners' Studio.
  • Maggie's West London Centre, by Rogers Stirk Harbour.
    Maggie's West London Centre, by Rogers Stirk Harbour.
  • An installation that walkers found last year.
    An installation that walkers found last year.

This year’s crawl will take place on the night of Friday September 19. The organisers have arranged for at least six buildings to open overnight for the event: the Foreign Office in Whitehall, Fulham Palace, Chelsea Physic Garden, Zaha Hadid’s Serpentine Sackler Gallery, Rogers Stirk Harbour’s Stirling Prize-winning Maggie’s West London Centre, and the celebrated megastudio of Foster + Partners in Battersea.

More buildings are likely to sign up, and there will be events along the way. Ab Rogers, the designer son of Richard, has been appointed as the event’s curator of cultural content. What does that mean, exactly? Rogers, playing his cards somewhat close to his chest, says: ‘There will be a series of fully interactive interventions and micro-activities involving food, performance, light and sound, as well as extraordinary buildings to see, and a beautiful route to walk.’ We’re wondering if his stepmum Ruthie Rogers, she of the River Café, might be involved in the food side of things. If so, everyone’s in for a treat.

Last year’s event raised more than £460,000 – enough to keep a Maggie’s Centre running for two years.

The walk is an interesting development that shows how Maggie’s is treating its fundraising as it does its building commissioning: bringing architecture significantly forward in the mix to create a high profile. Of course all this helps it sign up as many sponsored walkers as possible, and this is a serious business: last year’s event raised more than £460,000 – enough to keep one of the expanding network of Maggie’s Centres running for two years.

To ensure success requires commitment on the part of the walkers, which is why (in addition to signing up sponsors) they must pay a £40 registration fee. But it’s going to be fun. Ab Rogers, waxing lyrical, says: ‘Walkers will be part of a vibrant, multi-coloured carnival on a cultural journey full of excitement and surprise.’

And in case you’re concerned that the cost of the carnivalesque could eat into the takings, worry not: Maggie’s Culture Crawl is sponsored by Delancey, the property developer and investment advisory company.

Go on, take part, raise money for an excellent cause, and have fun celebrating architecture at the same time. Visit www.maggiescentres.org/culturecrawl to find out more and to register.