Maggie's Nottingham by CZWG and Paul Smith


Maggies Nottingham by CZWG and Paul Smith

British architect Piers Gough of CZWG and fashion designer Paul Smith have completed the latest Maggie’s Centre for cancer care in Nottingham, UK. 

Maggie's Nottingham by Piers Gough and Paul Smith

Maggie’s Nottingham is located beside Nottingham City Hospital and is scheduled to open next week.

Maggie's Nottingham by Piers Gough and Paul Smith

The walls of the building comprise four interlocking ovals, elevated above the ground and clad in green glazed tiles.

Maggie's Nottingham by Piers Gough and Paul Smith

Paul Smith furnished the centre, adding brightly coloured walls and patterned armchairs to sitting rooms, a library and therapy rooms.

Maggie's Nottingham by Piers Gough and Paul Smith

Like other Maggie’s Centres, the building also includes a large kitchen, where those affected by cancer are invited to come for a cup of tea and a chat. Maggie’s was founded fifteen years ago and this is the second of three centres opening in the UK this year, following one recently completed in Glasgow by OMA.

Here's some more information from Maggie's:

Fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, architect Piers Gough and Sarah Brown to open Maggie’s Nottingham on Wednesday, November 2.

The official opening heralds a new era of cancer care and support for people affected by cancer across the Nottingham region, bringing hope and solace to thousands.

Located next to the Breast Institute at Nottingham City Hospital, Maggie’s Nottingham will complement the treatment on offer at the hospital, offering an evidence-based programme of support to help people through the emotional and practical complexities of a cancer diagnosis.

The centre, part of Maggie’s Joy of Living campaign, of which Sarah Brown is the patron, is the ninth Maggie’s Centre in the UK and is designed by architect Piers Gough CBE, Founding Partner at CZWG Architects llp.

The near symmetrical design and generous height allows Maggie’s Nottingham to have a sense of space and balance. The elevated oval building of glazed ceramic tile floats over a smaller basement, with plants growing up the sides. Balconies will extend from the kitchen and sitting rooms and provide places from which to look out onto the landscape, which is designed to use scent and texture to create a secluded and uplifting area for people to enjoy.

Piers Gough said: “The light, peaceful and non-institutional design of Maggie’s Nottingham will be a sanctuary for all those who walk through the door. Sheltered by trees, the centre will be a homely, comfortable space next to the busy hospital, where anyone affected by cancer can come to relax. The centre is a safe space where visitors can engage with nature while being sheltered from the elements. From the outside the playful appearance will entice people to take a look through the door; once they do the harmony of light and space will create a uniquely welcoming environment.”

Piers Gough CBE is a well-known architect and was a personal friend of Maggie’s founder, Maggie Keswick Jencks. He is famous for his bold and imaginative architecture and has created a playful, open plan design for Maggie’s Nottingham.

Nottingham-born fashion designer Sir Paul Smith has designed the interior for Maggie’s Nottingham. His design will include photos taken during his travels round the world.

He said: “I am delighted to be involved in creating this centre for people living with cancer and their family and friends. It will be a great resource for everyone and a fantastic new addition to the city. Piers Gough is an incredible architect and it has been a joy to work together on the design.”

Maggie’s Nottingham will serve the Mid Trent Cancer Network, situated next to the Breast Institute at Nottingham City Hospital. The Mid Trent Cancer Network covers the populations of Nottingham, North Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire – an area of approximately 1.3 million people. Within this area, there are over 4,000 new cases of cancer a year.

Maggie’s Chief Executive Laura Lee said: “People across the region have put a tremendous effort into fundraising to make this centre a reality and today the local community should be proud of the lasting legacy they have created for the thousands affected by the devastating consequences of cancer. Our thanks must go to The Nottingham Post and Lynette Pinchess who have been fantastic in raising awareness and rallying support within the community.

“Maggie’s proven programme of support will act as an antidote to the isolation and despair of a cancer diagnosis. Piers Gough has designed a truly unique environment, which will help to facilitate this support, by making people feel safe, inspired and valued. Under one extraordinary roof, Maggie’s will help people to find their way out of the hopelessness of cancer.”

To celebrate the opening of Maggie’s Nottingham, Paul Smith has designed an exclusive pair of bone china mugs which are inspired by the homely interior he has created for Maggie’s. Available in two designs, the mugs feature a ‘Dog at Home’ and a ‘Cat at Home’ print and are available from Paul Smith’s Willoughby House Shop in Nottingham and online at 20 per cent of sales will be donated to Maggie’s.

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. In the space of 15 years, Maggie’s has helped nearly half a million people to build a life with, through and beyond cancer. There are three new centres opening this year which will greatly increase the level of support available to the growing cancer population of the UK.

  • tom

    C ra Z y W onky G reen

  • lucius

    looks like a mistake. interior is so banal one might be thinking this is just an ordinary looking box on the outside.
    oh, it is just an ordinary box?! so why bother with all the extra alum detailing and the extra levels?
    i just don't get it.

  • too kitsh!
    oval shapes are so unnecesary and unseen from inside…

  • rdg

    Looks pleasant enough inside, but why would a building need big ugly ears?

  • Simon

    Not impressed architecturally or interior wise.

    The other centres focus on the users and spaces for the inhabitants. This focuses on the furniture, paintwork and naff architectural aesthetics.

  • That is sweet. The ovals are very calming. Cancer sucks and I am always glad to see people fighting it. This center will be a huge blessing in peoples lives.

  • Keith F

    How novel. Gives the the word 'facade' a bad name. At least Gehry's interiors bear a relationship to the exterior structure. It will be dated tomorrow.

  • chris, Nottingham

    I dont care what it looks like. I think it is lovely, but then I am a breast cancer survivor. This is a fantastic place for us to go to get help and reassurance if we need it. We can meet with others who are suffering too and share worries. Yes cancer is a terrible disease but this building will help lots and lots of people.

  • ept

    I agree, I think the whole concept is lovely and the interior spaces are bright and cheerful. The resposibility for architects is to think about how the building will weather and how appealing it will be to visitors wanting to a cheerful place to visit in ten years time. I think the outside will become dated quickly..

  • NPW

    Dezeen is doing great work by allowing a level platform for the profession and public alike to leave their comments about projects that are submitted.

    I'm a professional architectural photographer and have noticed that in recent years, acknowledgement of our work in the form of a credit, seems to be over looked? Either subsumed by the architects copyright, or not credited at all. Instead, non professional or new-comers are gaining headline status, with sub standard work (please see the follow up article to this one). There needs to be more recognition of the value and importance that high quality photography brings to the profession, as this is after all the only representation that many people will ever see of the building. If not, we will see ourselves sleep walking into lower and lower pictorial standards whilst losing the best talents available, because their offering is undermined in this way.


    What a shame the architect just couldn't let the beauty of the ellipse speak. There is almost no view of this building where the ellipse is allowed its pure, sinuous curvature.

    As always with Piers Gough, his buildings miss the mark. He just hasn't the skill to enrich such simple idea work. The Nottingham building doesn't know whether it's a constructivist collage of four cut out's, or a box with flying buttresses. It's not radical enough to push the language. It's not traditional enough to be familiar. It is, in fact, whimsical, in a 'Festival of Britain' style: more a child of the 1950's, than the 60's.

  • Sharon

    As a new user of the building, as a cancer patient, I think that it looks amazingly attractive from the outside – set amongst mature trees that will be enjoyed from the windows and balconies throughout the seasons. The interior is also amazing – a riot of colours and textures. A feast for the eyes! The spaces are so varied and purposeful. I hope to be a regular user/recommender of this beautiful structure for all the warmth and welcome and comfort that it will bring to those who need a place to go when cancer affects their lives. Thank you to all involved in its creation.