Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres exhibition, V&A
Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centres have been famously supporting those affected by cancer for 15 years now, but this is the first time this group of seven buildings is being seen together in a single show. Marking the organization’s 15th anniversary, the
V&A is presenting ’The Architecture of Hope’, the first all-inclusive exhibition of these remarkable buildings at the V&A and RIBA Architecture Gallery.
The network was initiated by and is named after Maggie Keswick Jencks. Together with her husband - the renowned architectural writer and critic Charles - Jencks believed that architecture could truly make a difference to our health, and worked to transform this powerful concept into reality.
Making a mark not only in health but also in terms of architecture, and with the first one built in 1996, the Centres have since engaged some of the world’s most prominent architects to create buildings all around Britain; from
Frank Gehry to Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas and Richard Rogers - the list is truly star-studded.
Co-curated by the V&A and Maggie’s, this exhibition firstly looks at the seven existing centres through models, drawings, photographs and specially commissioned films. There is the Edinburgh centre designed by Richard Murphy; the Glasgow one by Page and Park; one in Dundee by Frank Gehry of Gehry and Partners; in the Highlands by Page and Park; in Fife by Zaha Hadid; in London by Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners; and in Cheltenham by Sir Richard MacCormac CBE of MacCormac Jamieson Prichard Architects.
Additionally offering a glimpse into the future, the exhibition showcases models of the six further and currently ongoing centres; in Gartnavel (Glasgow) by Rem Koolhaas of Office of Metropolitan Architecture; in South West Wales by Dr Kisho Kurokawa of ArBITAT Architects; in Oxford by Chris Wilkinson of Wilkinson Eyre Architects; in Nottingham by Piers Gough of CZWG Architects with interior design by Sir Paul Smith; in North East by Ted Cullinan of Edward Cullinan Architects; and the Lanarkshire center by Neil Gillespie of Reiach and Hall.
The Maggie’s Centres may be petite but they have not only provided comfort and a suitable inspiring and caring architectural environment for their patients over 15 years; they have also been a welcoming canvas for experimentation for the architects involved, creating a series of small but perfectly formed landmarks for Britain.