Many of Heatherwick Studio’s recent projects have incorporated significant greenery, including the impressive Eden and under-construction Little Island.
The firm’s latest building continues this approach and is conceived as three oversized greenery-filled planters. It provides people living with cancer, and their families, a pleasant environment to receive support.Maggie’s Leeds is located in St. James’s University Hospital in England, and is the charity’s 26th center (previous centers have involved other big names like Zaha Hadid and Foster + Partners). It’s located just a short walk from the hospital’s oncology ward.
The 462 sq m (4,972 sq ft) building is partly made from prefabricated glued laminated timber (glulam) and was squeezed onto an awkward sloping site that posed some challenges during the construction process.”The road running along the site presented a challenge for the building’s construction – as the main ambulance route, it could not be disrupted by months of heavy vehicles,” explains the press release. ”
The team designed a structure that could be built off-site and assembled quickly on a concrete slab and retaining wall with minimal disruption.The entire building superstructure was manufactured in Switzerland and fixed together on site in just eight weeks. These are supported by glulam fins, whose modulations give the feeling of trunks rising up from the ground to support the gardens overhead. The structure is mostly made of sustainably forested spruce, a material that will expand and contract with the seasons, as if alive.”