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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Maggie's Cancer Centre, London, United Kingdom

Maggie’s Centre opened by Nigella Lawson and Sarah Brown
Richard Rogers’ plans for London’s first Maggie’s Centre came to fruition today as the completed building was opened by celebrity cook Nigella Lawson and the Prime Minister’s wife and patron of Maggie’s, Sarah Brown. Maggie’s Centres offer emotional and psychological support and practical information to people who are either personally affected by cancer or know someone who is and would like to be of more support.

Maggie’s London evolved from Richard Rogers’ personal response to the brief calling for an aesthetically uplifting environment where people affected by cancer could benefit from the unique Maggie’s programme and find support beyond the hospital environment. The London Centre is situated within a specifically designed garden and series of intimate internal courtyards by leading landscape designer Dan Pearson, extending the remit of the Centre and building on the passion for landscape architecture of Maggie’s founder, Maggie Keswick Jencks.

Rogers said: “I am delighted that Maggie’s London is opening. There is a long history linking well-designed buildings and space with healing, which was identified by my friend Maggie Keswick Jencks and has been built on by the work of Maggie’s Centres since 1996. Maggie’s Centres are a vital example of good design serving communities and those in need.”

The London centre is the sixth Maggie’s Centre to be built with five others existing in Scotland. Zaha Hadid’s first UK build was the Maggie’s centre in Fife, Scotland and other acclaimed architects, Richard Murphy, Page & Park and Frank Gehry have also created for Maggie’s.

The Centre is situated at Charing Cross Hospital in the Hammersmith area of London and marks the forthcoming of a network of centres throughout the UK. Seven more centres throughout the UK are planned to be built by 2012.

Nigella Lawson said: “I am delighted to open the first Maggie's Centre in London. Richard Rogers and his team have created both a stunning piece of architecture and, crucially, an intimate and supportive domestic centre which will have a positively helpful impact on people living with cancer”

(Maggie’s relies completely on voluntary donations and the London Centre has been supported by individuals, community groups, trusts, and statutory and corporate donations. Maggie’s would like to thank everyone who has supported the £3.5m fundraising campaign for this centre.)

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