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The craft of care in the architecture of Maggie’s

Event video
Wed 27 Mar 2019

Maggie’s Cancer Care Centres were founded by Maggie Keswick Jencks and Charles Jencks to transform the lives of cancer patients and their families. Since the first centre opened in 1996, a year after Maggie’s death and three years after her breast cancer diagnosis, over 20 Centres have been established – transforming the experiences of people in the UK and internationally.

Revered in the architectural community as an unparalleled body of contemporary design, from the outset Maggie and Charles Jencks identified the environment of cancer care as critical to patient experience. Since the first centre commission from Maggie and Charles Jencks was completed in Glasgow by Richard Murphy, architects including Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Richard Rogers, OMA and Foster + Partners have gone on to create buildings which respond to the unique requirements of each site and embody the knowledge and experience of those who work at Maggie’s.

This evening brings Charles Jencks together in conversation with Alex de Rijke, director of dRMM and architect of Maggie’s Oldham, and Benedetta Tagliabue, director of Miralles Tagliabue EMBT and architect of the new Kālida Sant Pau Centre in Barcelona, to talk about the exceptional projects, their aims, successes and ongoing work.

Maggie’s Oldham, opened in 2017, was the first permanent cross-laminated hardwood building in the world. Constructed and clad in tulipwood CLT, the material qualities of the building inspire warmth, humanity and hope. The acclaimed centre has received ten industry awards. 

Kālida Sant Pau Centre will be the first Maggie’s Centre in mainland Europe upon completion this year. Designed as a garden pavilion in the Catalan cityscape as a refuge from the hospital environment, the centre aims to embody the curative value of good design.

The event considers the importance of architectural specificity, materiality and the fine craft of care that uniquely define these Maggie’s Centres.



6.00pm Registration starts
6.30pm Introduction by Vanessa Norwood (Creative Director of the Building Centre)
6.40pm Introduction to Maggie’s Centres by Charles Jencks
6.50pm Presentation from Alex de Rijke, Maggie’s Oldham
7.00pm Presentation from Benedetta Tagliabue, Kālida Sant Pau Centre in Barcelona
7.10pm Panel conversation led by Charles Jencks with Alex de Rijke and Benedetta Tagliabue
7.25pm Audience Q&A chaired by Vanessa Norwood
7.45pm Event end and networking
8.30pm Close

Copies of the BE: journal, which features an exclusive interview with Charles Jencks, and The Architecture of Hope were available to purchase on the evening with all proceeds going to Maggie's Centres. 


The event was kindly supported by the American Hardwood Export Council.


This event was curated by the Building Centre exhibitions team and supported by The Built Environment Trust. It formed part of a programme of events associated with the Forest of Fabrication exhibition, in collaboration with dRMM. 

We would like to thank the headline sponsors of Forest of Fabrication Timber Trade FederationWood Campus and Wood For Good. Supported by American Hardwood Export CouncilB&K Structures, BinderholzEurbanJames LathamKLH UK,  MartinsonsSödraStora Enso and Wiehag.

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