Comfort and solace at new Maggie’s Centre
Maggie’s Centres are places of refuge where people affected by cancer can find emotional and practical support. Designed by Foster & Partners, the Manchester Maggie’s Centre aims to establish a domestic atmosphere in a garden setting. With a greenhouse and a veranda, the centre accommodates a range of flexible spaces from intimate private niches, to a library, exercise rooms and larger group spaces.
For the greenhouse we made a moveable table with slate top and cast iron red oxide legs. With stainless steel wheels, it slides out of the space on rails ensuring it can be used all year round for therapeutic activities such as gardening classes and workshops. The accompanying cast iron stools have a circular solid oak seat with gently sloping edges.
At the heart of the building is the kitchen, where our 3.4m oval kitchen table provides a welcome place to gather and share a cup of tea. Made from solid oak, it has a rectilinear, organic hand drawn table top with softly curving edges. The elyptical legs are fixed with a through tenon joint that expresses the leg shape on the table top. The underside of the table is as beautiful as the top with careful selection of well-cured timber enabling us to dispense with a cumbersome under-rail.
The kitchen units are made from oak with bespoke turned handles. The corian island unit is given a lightness of touch with a cutback chamfered edge. Combined with integrated lighting and seamless sink the whole space, with its clean, pared back design brings a feeling of calm and serenity.
We also made three specially designed sideboards. Continuing the cast iron/red oxide theme for the legs, the sideboards are made in oak and walnut with finger jointed detailing and circular recessed handles carved into the timber allowing the grain to run across the unit continuously. We will be developing the sideboard as an ongoing line within our furniture collection.
Elsewhere in the centre we made plywood tables and storage units, with integrated seating for the mezzanine floor and walnut desks and shelving for the computer rooms and reception.
The thoughtful detailing, choice of material and fine craftsmanship of each of Foster & Partners’ designed pieces ensures tactility and warmth that will hopefully bring comfort to those that visit the centre.
Image Credit (c) Nigel Young/Foster + Partners.