Civic Trust Awards
Level of Award
Local Authority Area
Information about this scheme
Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. The building is located on a triangular shaped site in the corner of the Velindre Cancer Care Centre car park.
The site is unremarkable but backs onto an existing stand of trees. The building takes you on a journey from the bleakness of the carpark, through an intimate courtyard garden, into a range of calm and contemplative spaces which focus on the stand of trees and a new landscape garden.
The building’s form and materiality seek to reflect the surrounding topography and to provide a range of uplifting spaces that have a strong relationship to nature. The silhouette of the building echoes the shapes of the local mountains, while the rusty wrinkly steel cladding is the colour of the bracken that adorns these hills and provides a strong character to the area.
The interior spaces are formed between Douglas Fir lined walls which have a warmth and softness, and contrasts with the sleek polished concrete floor. At the heart of the building is the cwtch, a tall and intimate roof-lit space, inspired by the simnau fawr (big chimneys) of vernacular welsh architecture.
The architects worked closely with a group of artists and designers to make the building a rich and enlivening experience and have collaborated with the National Museum of Wales to display works form their collection.
This Maggie’s Centre is an interim one, intended to be used for the next 10 years while the Velindre Hospital makes plans to redevelop on a different nearby site. Maggie’s has had a huge impact on the local – and indeed regional - community and has been supported from the Welsh Government. The Welsh Assembly were instrumental in getting Maggie’s built, and support for the project extends into all strata of the community.
The building is a sheer delight, luxuriating in between a car park and woodland and a great setting for the people it serves.
Dow Jones Architects
Knox & Wells
Primary Use Class
Class D1a - Medical/Health Service