We are delighted that the new edition of The Architecture of Hope by Maggie’s Co-Founder Charles Jencks is now available to buy online.
The Architecture of Hope is the story of Maggie’s Centres and how they have become a new kind of institution. This new edition describes how Maggie’s has grown from eight to eighteen Centres and how we have expanded to Hong Kong and Europe. It illustrates our goal to be at every NHS Cancer Centre across the country, with services that complement primary treatment.
The Architecture of Hope argues that hope, necessarily bound up with fear, is a state of mind that needs constant support. Like the medical and architectural professions themselves, hope is directed towards a better future. This future orientation explains why good design and cancer support – the subjects of the book – are so closely connected. The metaphors of hope embodied in the designs are based on nature and the cosmos, and are carried through, in different ways, by the intimate spaces of each Centre. They present an environment that is warm and welcoming and with a commitment to the other arts, including landscape, they bring in the full panoply of constructive means.
Started in 1996 in Scotland, the first Maggie’s Centres were designed by well-known architects such as Richard Murphy, Page\Park, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hahid. Then, expanding to England and Wales in 2008, the next few Centres were conceived by Richard Rogers, the late Richard MacCormac, Rem Koolhaas, Piers Gough and the late Kisho Kurokawa. All these architects were friends of Charles Jencks and his late wife Maggie, whose vision was the initial inspiration. The close friendship helps explain the personal commitment that has been maintained as the Centres have continued to grow.
Maggie’s has recently opened Centres, designed by Ted Cullinan, Snøhetta, Carmody Groarke and Wilkinson Eyre, while on the drawing boards are designs by A_LA, Dow Jones, Nord, Thomas Heatherwick and Norman Foster. Well-known, or young and talented, these architects set the bar high for each other, just as the landscape and garden designers are starting to do.
The Centres are committed first to supporting people with cancer to help themselves and to inspiring carers to care more, and secondly to architecture. It is the arts and building, important allies in reinforcing the positive effect design and architecture can have on wellbeing, which lead to the 'Architecture of Hope'. People walk into a Centre after a diagnosis, or enervating treatment, often disoriented and lacking in self-confidence. They enter another world, one which acknowledges their importance and a basic condition that may become prevalent: living with cancer and not losing hope.
Charles Jencks is the author of several best-selling books on architecture as well as The Garden of Cosmic Speculation (Frances Lincoln, 2005) and The Universe in the Landscape (Frances Lincoln, 2011). He divides his time between lecturing, writing and designing in the USA, UK and Europe. He was married to Maggie Keswick, with whom he collaborated on several projects, the last of which was the Cancer Caring Centres that now bear her name and he co-founded. Charles lives in London.
The Architecture of Hope is now available to buy online for £20.