This morning I went to the Maggie’s Centre in London. I was there to research courtyard gardens, as I am in the process of designing some for a project and my tutor had recommended I go.
Maggie’s Centres offer support for people affected by cancer, whether patients, family or friends. Having lost family members, including Brandon, my husband, to cancer, I am acutely aware of the importance of these places and of the incredible support the people that work there provide.
I have been to other places like this, but I was not prepared for the unique and sheer peace and presence this site has. It has a palpable sense of place and upon entering it one feels immediately cocooned.
The building was designed by Richard Rogers and the gardens by Dan Pearson: both are sensationally talented in their respective fields. The space is simple and spacious and intuitive. It has been divided into a sequence of areas that people can move about in as they wish. The courtyards are interspersed throughout the building, providing serene green rooms to view and be in. I was deeply moved upon entering and spending time in the space, by the people working there, the visitors and by the example it gave of the absolute power good design has to create healthy, personal, safe and intuitive environments that enhance our lives.