The architecture and design of Maggie's Glasgow

The striking, single-storey building built in 2011 is formed as a ring shape around a landscaped internal courtyard, and is nestled among the woodland in the grounds of Gartnavel General Hospital.


The building

Rem Koolhaas, the Pritzker-winning architect of OMA, designed the interlocking rooms to flow into one another while still remaining separate, “like a series of scenes of domesticity in which the kitchen, dining room and library appear in succession.” This makes the Centre feel homely, and in direct contrast to the institutional atmosphere of a hospital.

The garden

Lily Jencks, daughter of Maggie’s co-founders, Maggie Keswick Jencks and Charles Jencks, designed the internal courtyard plantings and the wooded glades areas surrounding the centre.

“Everything has been designed to show an enthusiasm for life. And you need that when you’re fighting cancer – you need something to give you a bit of life and power.” Lily Jencks

OMA is a truly international architectural practice, with offices in Rotterdam, New York, Beijing, Hong Kong and Doha. OMA is led by six partners – Rem Koolhaas, Ellen van Loon, Reinier de Graaf, Shohei Shigematsu, Iyad Alsaka, and David Gianotten.

“We accepted the commission with eagerness. I don’t think it should be a building that challenges people to live better; rather it should have a direct effect on the people who use it. The space we have is great because it is linked to the existing hospital, but far enough away from it for us to create another world. It has both privacy and a central position; both sheltered and slightly exposed. The Centre will have a holistic feel and hopefully will provide respite and comfort for people.”

Awards for Maggie’s Glasgow

Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award 2012
Shortlisted for the 2012 RIBA Stirling Prize



Link to architect's website