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Case Study: Maggie’s Centre, Swansea

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Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre in Swansea, designed by the late master Japanese Architect Kisho Kurokawa, sits in the North West corner of the Singleton Hospital Trust, amidst dappled mature forests overlooking the ebullient Swansea bay.

The centre, which gives care and support to cancer patients and their families, was opened by First Minister Carwyn Jones, footballer John Hartson, Japanese Ambassador Keiichi Hayashi and the family of Kisho Kurokawa.

With its innovative shape representing ‘energy, metabolism and infrastructure,’ it is a welcome respite from the regime and the exhaustion of treatment. The tranquillity of the surroundings and the natural, inclusive curves of this wonderful building are as generous and gracious as the people of the region who raised the funds for its inception.

Translated and designed by Architects, Wendy James and Thore Garbers, the building has a dynamism that is shared by the centre’s staff caring for sufferers through counselling, rest, discussion and mutual support and is a far cry from the clinical uniformity of a traditional hospital building.

The roof structure is a marvel of tubular steel ridges intertwining in geometric wizardry to allow the roof finishes and soffits to reach the concrete frame with titanium in fills beyond. All Metal Roofing used Bright Zinc to create a bond with the walls and, as the materials weather and patinate, they change to give a living feeling.

Kisho Kurakawa wrote on a covering note for a sketch for the site plan;

‘A life is a small universe. A universe is a great life. We can always communicate with a universe of great life.’

http://www.maggiescentres.org