Maggie's Highlands
The design for the Maggie's Centre at Inverness has been developed between Page and Park Architects and Charles Jencks as a harmonious and interconnected meeting of landscape and built form - seeking to blur the perceived boundaries between internal and external spaces, enclosure and openness.

In the struggle with cancer, people are forced to confront a hugely varied range of emotions, and these emotions change through time, as does the physical personal response to such emotions. Sometimes you need spaces that enclose, protect and ‘hide’ you from the world, whilst other times you need spaces that allow you to escape and ‘take stock’. Spaces can also encourage you to go out and face the world in a positive way with a renewed ‘will to live’.

The environment sculpted at Inverness between the fusion of built form and landscape seeks to provide a rich variety of interconnected secluded and open spaces. These are both internal and external, with varying degrees of enclosure and exposure to and with the surrounding ‘public’ spaces, thus responding to the emotional variances of people associated with cancer.

The building form and ‘language’ directly responds to the two vesica shaped spiral mounds, combining to create a trilogy of interconnected forms, metaphorically representing dividing living cells. The building form is conceived as in inversion of one of the mounds, with walls angling out rather than in, clad in green copper bands spiralling up and around the building, echoing the spiralling paths on each mound.

Two overlapping vesica shapes are apparent in the building composition – one creating the building enclosure, the other forming an enclosing fence to a garden space adjacent the building. This overlapping of two vesica shapes is metaphorically representative of the metaphase of cell subdivision, where two cells emerge from one. The second vesica shape begins within the heart of the building enclosure, and emerges to create an enclosing wall to the first of the surrounding ‘garden’ spaces.

This space with its complete enclosing wall provides opportunity for people to step outside in the context and safety of the Centre within a controlled and private environment - important ‘breathing’ space away from the activity of the internal spaces and rooms. This ‘intimate garden’ spatially sweeps around and into the heart of the Centre, but does not stop there. The space flows through the building and out into the landscaping, through the mound forms and beyond.


26 photos and 2 drawings

Building Activity