Maggie’s Centre Southampton

  • area / size 3,552 sqft
  • Completed 2021
  • Location Southampton, England,
  • AL_A was tasked with creating a peaceful and welcoming space with Maggie’s Centre Southampton in Southampton, England.

    Maggie’s has 25 years of experience providing free cancer support and information in centres across the UK. The new centre, which transforms a corner of the hospital site previously used for car parking, offers support for the hospital’s specialist oncology unit, serving a population of 3.2 million people across the region.

    A woodland oasis set in the grounds of the hospital’s suburban campus, almost three quarters of the site is given over to four distinct gardens that reflect the ecology of the nearby New Forest.

    The building emerges from this naturalistic landscape with an almost ethereal clarity. The gardens are cut through by four walls that radiate from a large central space, defining more discrete spaces in each of the four corners. As in all Maggie’s centres, the kitchen table sits at the heart of the building; a skylight above brings daylight and sky views deep into the building. The private areas, including consulting rooms and quiet spaces, open onto the gardens through full-height glazed sliding doors which disappear into pockets in the walls, removing the boundaries between landscape and building.

    The building’s skeleton, which extends outside of the building enclosure, is formed by the four blade walls made from ceramics. The earthiness of the clay colour roots the centre to the ground. The four corners are clad in a mottled stainless steel giving a dreamy reflection of the surrounding landscape, placing the garden front and centre. The structure itself seems to disappear as it reflects the surrounding trees and planting.

    Design: AL_A
    Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine
    Photography: Hufton + Crow