Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

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Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Coinciding with the OMA retrospective opening at the Barbican in London this week, here are some photos of the Maggie’s Centre for cancer care that the firm just completed in Glasgow.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Maggie's Gartnavel opened on Monday and is the second in Glasgow, located on top of a hill at Gartnavel General Hospital.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

The building comprises a sequence of L-shaped, interlocking rooms around a landscaped courtyard.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Glazed walls afford views of the surrounding trees, planted in glades according to a design by Lily Jencks, daughter of Maggie’s founders Maggie Keswick Jencks and Charles Jencks.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Visitors to the OMA/Progress exhibition can walk over a 1:1 plan of the building in the Barbican's sculpture gallery. See visuals of the building that were produced at the start of its construction in our story from November 2010.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Maggie’s was founded fifteen years ago to provide support to anyone affected by cancer and they now have 15 centres around the UK, including the London facility by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners that was awarded the 2009 Stirling Prize.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

See all our stories about Maggie's Centres here.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Photographs are by Philippe Ruault.

Here are some more details from Maggie's:


Pioneering cancer caring charity Maggie’s open their eighth centre in the UK, Maggie’s Gartnavel – the first of three new Maggie’s Centres set to open before the end of the year.

The building is funded by grant making charity Walk the Walk from some of the money raised at The MoonWalk Edinburgh, providing a much needed second Maggie’s Centre in Glasgow to serve the west of Scotland’s cancer population – an area with a high incidence of cancer. The centre acknowledges the support from the tens of thousands of women and men who have taken part in The MoonWalk Edinburgh, Power Walking a half or full marathon in brightly decorated bras over the past six years, throughan engraving on the front door.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

The centre is designed by OMA Founding Partner Rem Koolhaas and OMA Partner-in-charge of the project, Ellen van Loon. OMA is one of the most influential architectural practices working today, whose most celebrated buildings include the Seattle Central Library and the Netherlands Embassy in Berlin. Maggie’s Gartnavel will be OMA’s first permanent building to open in the UK, followed closely by a new headquarters for NM Rothschild and Sons in London.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Maggie’s Gartnavel is a single-level building in the form of a ring of interlocking rooms surrounding an internal landscaped courtyard, which overlooks the hospital site and city from its position atop a hill on the Gartnavel Hospital site. The centre is located a stone’s throw from the Scotland’s leading oncology facility, the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, which serves a population of 2.8 million people (60 per cent of Scotland’s population).

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Maggie’s Gartnavel will work in tandem with the original Maggie’s Glasgow at the Western Infirmary (opened in 2002), to provide a first class level of evidence based emotional support and practical advice to people with cancer, their friends and family. People at any stage of their cancer journey will be able to access the professional and peer led support available at Maggie’s, to help them to build a life with, through and beyond cancer.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Maggie’s place great emphasis on the designs of their centres to help facilitate the work they do. Seemingly haphazardly arranged, Maggie’s Gartnavel is actually a carefully considered composition of spaces responding to the needs of a Maggie's Centre. As opposed to a series of isolated rooms, the building is designed as a sequence of interconnected L-shaped figures in plan that create clearly distinguished areas – an arrangement that minimises the need for corridors and hallways and allows the rooms to flow one to another. The plan has been organised for the spaces to feel casual, almost carefree, allowing one to feel at ease and at home; part of an empathetic community of people. The centre has been constructed by local company, Dunne Group.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Complementing the centre’s design is a landscape design consisting of internal courtyard plantings and a surrounding wooded glades area, designed by Lily Jencks, daughter of Maggie’s Founders, Maggie Keswick Jencks and Charles Jencks, in conjunction with the landscape architecture and urban design company HarrisonStevens. Furthermore, leading contemporary Scottish artist Callum Innes has gifted three oil on oil paper 205 x 100cms paintings to the centre. These paintings are similar to art works that Callum has made that are based in the Pompidou and National Galleries of Scotland.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

2011 is a landmark year for Maggie’s as the charity celebrates its 15th birthday, and its growth to 15 centres which are either open or in development. Maggie’s Gartnavel, Maggie’s Nottingham and Maggie’s South West Wales will all open before the end of the year, as part of a dramatic expansion to improve the landscape of cancer care and support across the UK. In the space of 15 years, Maggie’s has helped nearly half a million people to build a life with, through and beyond cancer and has been recognised as providing outstanding cancer care by the Department of Health. The Architecture of Hope Exhibition to mark Maggie’s 15th anniversary year is currently on display at The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture and Design, until November.

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Laura Lee, Maggie’s Chief Executive, said: “It is an honour to open our eighth Maggie’s Centre. Today is a celebration of a fantastic new resource for the west of Scotland’s cancer population, as well as a celebration of this pivotal year in Maggie’s history. It’s hard to believe that it was fifteen years ago when we opened our very first centre in Edinburgh – delivering Maggie Keswick Jencks vision of providing an antidote to the isolation and despair of cancer. It soon became apparent that other regions and communities greatly needed a Maggie’s Centre too, and through wonderful support, we have managed to grow our network of centres and today take great pride in our newest centre – Maggie’s Gartnavel. OMA have created a truly unique environment, which will help to facilitate our programme of support, by making people feel safe, inspired and valued, whilst Lily Jencks garden design complements the centre beautifully. Most importantly, Maggie’s Gartnavel has been made possible through a unique partnership with Walk the Walk, whose tenacious Edinburgh MoonWalkers, take to the streets of Edinburgh each year in wonderfully decorate bras to raise money to support cancer charities. Thank you to Walk the Walk and to everyone who has graciously support us over the years – you are helping to make a huge difference.”

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

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Nina Barough, Chief Executive and Founder of Walk the Walk Worldwide, said: “What a proud day it is for Walk the Walk! Over the past six years, our Scottish MoonWalkers have trained hard, devised fantastic fundraising schemes, designed outlandish bras, and then actually had the courage to go into the streets of the capital at Midnight wearing their creations as they take on their marathon challenge at The MoonWalk Edinburgh, all with a united vision of helping to support people facing cancer. Today that vision has become a reality as Walk the Walk has become the principle funder for this wonderful new Maggie’s Centre, which will offer cancer patients the care and support so needed when facing a cancer diagnosis. We have a very special relationship with Maggie’s and are pleased that in 2011, as we partner to open this new centre, Maggie’ s celebrate their 15th year and Walk the Walk are about to start a celebration of 15 years of MoonWalking!”

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Click above for larger image

Ellen Van Loon, OMA Partner-in-charge of the project, said: “I enjoyed designing such an exceptional environment with this very dedicated and inspired team of designers and contractors. The sequence of spaces is an interplay of openness, retreat and support to underpin the Maggie’s programme.”

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Click above for larger image

Rem Koolhaas, OMA Founding Partner, said: "We were touched to be asked to design a Maggie’s Centre, and invigorated by the opportunity to work on a completely different scale, with different ambitions, and in a different environment. Maggie's Centre is so unique and urgent among the projects we are working on.”

Maggie's Gartnavel by OMA

Click above for larger image

Callum Innes, Contemporary Artist, said: “Often works leave the studio and take on a life of their own and you never know where they are or who is seeing them. It gives me great pleasure to gift these works to Maggie’s and know they will be seen by different people who come through their centre.”

  • archtired

    I am so glad they put so much glass, because the garden is the only thing to look at.

  • hbernstein

    i hate hdr pictures … but nevertheless its not a bad building but also nothing impressive. i don't like the ceiling material. it is like if you flip the room upside down …

    • yes man

      Yeah, HDR pictures are terrible. I hate how they give you a such a life like range of colors. Accuracy and detail is stupid. No application in architectural photography at all!

  • Monic

    Great plan! Great sequence of spaces! Squared, and not completely closed, but not completely opened.

  • Colonel Pancake

    The thing I find weird about OMA is that they wait until they're designing a cancer care center until they finally ignore their need to make futuristic architecture and instead embrace enduringly natural materials like wood.

    In most of their designs, they fetishize experimental materials and finishes (plastics/concrete/alloys) with little therapeutic value as they defer to the seduction of digital and ornamentalism, but it's like they finally admitted:

    "Yes, when push comes to shove and we actually start to design with health of the occupants in mind, we reluctantly use things that make people feel better."

    Why does such an embrace of simple natural immateriality only happen now, a mere 50 buildings later in their course of realized buildings? Stick with it, for gosh sake's.

  • kms

    Good to see OMA can still do a smaller project with some grace. Cant even complain about the sort of nepotistic landscape design selection because honestly that garden looks pretty great even just planted.

  • Horta

    You see, they still can do it if they want. Nice, functional and still innovative.

  • alistair

    Obviously they got the photographer in there before they installed the mainfestation patern on the glazing.

    Also odd that the joy of the maggie centres is the welcoming and approachable and non-intitutional feel. these photos seem to suck the life out of the place, (all the empty bookshelves and lack of furniture)

    Looks like a nice scheme though.

    • zappiens

      Though not very noticeable in these pics, the glass manifestation pattern is already installed, very discreet rows of circles at at least two different heights. The pattern looks actually more engraved than just sticked-on, hard to tell just from looking at these images though. The pattern is more visible here: http://www.glasgowarchitecture.co.uk/images/jpgs/

      • alistair

        wow you are right, been a while since i worked with scottish regs but i'm pretty sure that doesn't comply…

        certainly doesn't do what it's supposed to!

  • mark

    it's quite a beautiful relationship between circulation and the exterior as it relates to the public/private spaces of the program. very simple.

  • zappiens

    I think this building really needs to be experienced in the flesh (as with all good architecture) to understand its full intent and subtleties. You can watch this video, with a livelier interior already including some interior furnishings and decoration elements. The interaction between building and nature comes to life here, conveying a better notion of what being there must feel like :
    http://www.archdaily.com/173727/video-maggie-gart

    Will be interesting to see follow-up pictures from this building on a later stage, when it's completely furnished and in use. I think a much richer atmosphere, clearly suggested now, will make itself more evident then.

  • JuiceMajor

    OMA always designed the best house ever…I just luve the house he did for us outside Paris!!

    • Anon

      It's not a house. It's a Cancer Care Centre…

  • http://twitter.com/greigpenny @greigpenny

    As far as Maggies Centres go, this looks a little cold. Frank Ghery's in Dundee, for me, epitomises the palette of materials this type of building should adopt; warm and comforting.

    As far as the architecture goes, the plan is really interesting and there looks like some nice detailing. I like the link to the surrounding nature/landscaping but perhaps there is a bit too much transparency? I'm very keen to see the building in the flesh, hopefully with some some furnishing and people.

  • http://www.VictoriaLyonInteriors.com Victoria Lyon

    It is a gorgeous center, with a very spiritual quality to it, and wonderfully connected to the landscape around it. I can't imagine a more inspiring and healing space to be in if I had cancer.

  • fred

    it is sad thing to see that OMA started to copy SANAA – see louvre extension

  • http://www.architectus.lt Rokas

    people,calm down…If anyone of you is suffering from cancer, and not from overwhelming stupidity, you'll realise that there can be better solutions at the details..but not in overa solution..Its lovely to see those plants,the sky..and all the freedom and beauty.Expecialy,if you're sick, if you're suffering.

  • haggys

    wonderful, stunning, OMA can't make any bad and koolhaas is a genius!

    exquisite detailing and beautiful glass, really avantgarde inversion floor <–> ceiling, great concpet overall,so out-of-the-box, love it!

    pure idea of never-ending continuous interior, like a loop!
    would love to walk there in circles all day! just wow!

  • mari

    Hi, I would love to know who the photographer is… can anyone help me? Could I have this pictures in higher resolution?

    • http://www.dezeen.com Dezeen

      Hi Mari, as credited in the text the photographer is Philippe Ruault, Amy/Dezeen