Maggies Cancer Caring Centre by Scottish architecture practice Reiach and Hall Architects, is located in Airdrie next to the Monklands District General Hospital. In a gesture that attempts to reinstate the idea of a boundary to the hospital estate, the Maggies embraces two detached stands of mature lime trees with a finely articulated brick wall, once more bringing a sense of continuity and enclosure to the site area. At its heart, the design of the Maggies Centre is simply a tale of enclosed gardens. The brick walls of the Maggies take up these ideas of paradise, enclosure and fence. The brick is a beautiful Danish hand-made brick that at moments in its peregrination around the site opens up to form a delicate perforated lattice. The wall is designed to offer a degree of separation from the hospital grounds but through its pierced nature, its human scale and the haptic quality of its materiality this break is subtle and in places even marginal. The garden walls conceal a modest low building that gathers together a sequence of domestic scaled spaces, both internal and external.The external courts catch sunlight, creating sheltered sitting out places, sitooteries. The building plan is perforated with four small sheltered courts. The two central courts at the very heart of the building are animated by two highly polished gold perforated metal light catchers. They hover over the two central courtyards reflecting sunlight onto the floor of the courts.
Text © Reiach and Hall Architects | Photography © David Grandorge