The RIBA Royal Gold Medallist, Ted Cullinan, has designed a highly sustainable Maggie’s Centre,
located in the grounds of Newcastle's Freeman Hospital. A vibrant landscape will surround the
sheltered centre, which itself will partly enclose a courtyard. There are two wings of accommodation - one houses counselling rooms and a large living room space, the other leads to the all important kettle and kitchen table. A central library incorporates stairs up to a mezzanine level, covered by an angled roof covered in photovoltaic panels. The mezzanine leads out onto the flat landscaped roof, screened by planting. A courtyard occupies the fourth quadrant, which visitors can see and walk out into from the kitchen and large meeting room. The vibrantly planted embanked earth around the courtyard and building provides shelter and privacy, and a small pavilion creates an outdoor place for conversation or being alone in.
Allowing the building, roof and landscape to be fully accessible aims to provide the users with a sense of ownership and allows for exploration and discovery on a relatively small site. Maggie’s Centres are somewhat domestic in character, having many of the features of a biggish house, and it has been found that they attract more women than men. So as well as the housey things, Ted’s centre has further things that both sexes might enjoy; like gardening, barbecuing, hedge clipping and outdoor games and gym equipment.
"Maggie's Centres aim at a wonderful balance of the moral with the aesthetic. We are thrilled to be involved.” - Ted Cullinan