Maggie’s Centre wins top architecture prize

maggiesMaggie’s Centre in Hammersmith has won the UK’s top architecture prize. The building was awarded the Stirling Prize, the RIBA’s top award, at a ceremony on Saturday October 16.

Maggie’s Hammersmith was designed by Richard Rogers, who collected the award. The cancer support centreĀ is one of six, the rest being in Scotland. Maggie’s has a record of commissioning starchitects, others they have used include Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid.

This is the second time in three years Hammersmith based Rogers has won the top prize, he last won in 2006 with his design of Barajas Airport in Madrid.

The judges said of the Hammersmith centre: “Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners Maggies Centre exceeds at every level in fulfilling the most demanding of briefs: to create a sanctuary for terminally ill cancer sufferers with client Charles Jencks, whose deep conviction of architectures power to shape our experience has led to a series of cancer care centres creating a fitting memorial to his wife Maggie.”

“This quietly confident building is truly, unquestionably a haven for those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners achievement is in having created a completely informal, home-like sanctuary to help patients learn to live with cancer.”

“Conceived as a two-storey pavilion, the centres positive spirit is signalled with a bold roof canopy that hovers high above the walls to sail protectively over a series of intimate internal gardens, courtyards and roof terraces. A deep orange rendered wall puts a protective arm around it, making it a place apart without denying it is a part of the city. This antithesis of a hospital provides an open house in the city.”

“Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has produced a timeless work of architecture that not only distils the intentions of this brief but expresses in built form compassion, sensitivity and a deep sense of our common humanity.”

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