Steven Holl Architects (SHA) has broken ground on London’s newest Maggie’s Centre across from the large courtyard of St. Bartholomew’s (Barts) Hospital, the city’s oldest hospital. The structure, a branching concrete frame lined with perforated bamboo and matte white glass, was inspired by its historic site, which also neighbors the St. Bartholomew the Great Church. It was envisioned as a ”vessel within a vessel within a vessel” embellished with colored glass fragments that recall “neume notation” of Medieval music in the 13th century.
“The word neume originates from the Greek pnevma, which means ‘vital force.’ It suggests a ‘breath of life’ that fills oneself with inspiration like a stream of air, the blowing of the wind. The outer glass layer is organized in horizontal bands like a musical staff while the concrete structure branches like the hand,” describes SHA.
A video of Steven Holl detailing the center’s design, after the break.
“The three story center has an open curved staircase integral to the concrete frame with open spaces vertically lined in perforated bamboo,” continues SHA. “The glass facade geometry, like a musical ‘staff’ is in horizontal strips 90cm wide, which follow the geometry of the main stair along the north facade, while lifting up with clear glass facing the main square, marking the main front entry. There is a second entry on the west opening to the extended garden of the adjacent church.
“The interior character of this building will be shaped by colored light washing the floors and walls, changing by the time of day and season. Interior lighting will be organized to allow the colored lenses together with the translucent white glass of the facade to present a new, joyful, glowing presence on this corner of the great square of St. Barts Hospital. The building tops out in a public roof garden with flowering trees open to a large room for yoga, Tai Chi, meetings, and more.”
The opening of Maggie’s Barts will allow Maggie’s to extend its support even further across London which sees over 28,000 cancer diagnoses a year. There is currently only one Maggie’s Centre in west London, built within the grounds of Charing Cross Hospital. Opening is slated for late 2016.
Architects: Steven Holl Architects
Location: Saint Bartholomew’s Hospital Museum, London EC1A, UK
Design Team: Steven Holl, Chris McVoy, Dominik Sigg (design architects) Bell Ying Yi Cai, Gemma Gene, Martin Kropac, Christina Yessios (project team)
Client: Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust (Maggie’s)
Landscape Architect: Bradley Hole-Schoenaich
Associate Architects: JM Architects
Civil, Climate, Mechanical Engineer: Arup
Historic Building Advisor : Donald Insall Associates
Lighting Consultant : L’Observatoire International
Cdm Coordinator : Floor Projects LLP
Code Consultant : Butler & Young
Planning Advisor : DP9
Cost Estimator : Gardiner & Theobald
Construction Manager : Sir Robert McAlpine
Glass Consultant : Arup
Area: 607.0 sqm
Photographs: Steven Holl Architects
Steven Holl Breaks Ground on Maggie’s Centre Barts in London originally appeared on ArchDaily, the most visited architecture website on 10 Jun 2015.