Azara Blog: Cambridge might be getting a Maggie's Centre

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Date published: 2005/11/26

The architecture critic of the Financial Times seems to have been ill and in this weekend's edition wrote a long article (not really worth reading) about hospital architecture, generally about how dreadful most of it is in the NHS. Of course it is possible to have decent health service architecture (the Swiss, as usual, seem to lead the way with Herzog and de Meuron). In the UK the most famous example of what can be done is Maggie's Centre in Dundee, whose architect was Frank Gehry. This came about not because someone in the NHS suddenly was inspired, but because one man, Charles Jencks, decided to do something after his wife, Maggie, died of cancer. There are now (or will soon be) half a dozen Maggie's Centres around the UK (mostly still in Scotland). Best news of all, for Cambridge, is that apparently we are supposed to get one here, once Addenbrooke's Hospital gets its act together (it is supposed to be located on that site), and the architect for that is supposed to be Daniel Libeskind. Now Libeskind is a bit of a BS artist, but at least his buildings are interesting, and it will be good to have at least one example of his architecture in Cambridge. The hospital site is of course the natural location, the only downside being that the whole layout and psychology of the site is so dreadful that any decent building risks being swallowed up in the mess.

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