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Zaha Hadid Architects runs Royal Parks Half Marathon for Maggie's Centres

Maggie’s is very close to our hearts. They support those and their loved ones living with the effects of cancer, as well as championing quality architecture for their centres. To join us in supporting Maggie’s fantastic work: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/zha2017

Celebrating their 10th anniversary last year, Maggie’s Fife in Kirkcaldy, Scotland by Zaha Hadid Architects has supported more than 50,000 people affected by cancer.

Maggie’s Centres provide free practical, emotional and social support from cancer support specialists, counselling psychologists and advisers. Its centres are places where professional staff and qualified experts are on hand to offer the support people need; places to meet; places where you can simply sit quietly with a cup of tea in a warm, welcoming environment.

Programmes at Maggie’s include men’s groups, teenage groups and support for children whose parents have cancer; as well as relaxation, tai chi, art therapy, expressive writing and nutrition workshops. Maggies’s programmes for family and friends also help people support loved ones at all stages of treatment.

“Maggie’s Centres help in a way that is a natural extension of our clinical work. For people with cancer, what Maggie’s does is vital,” said Professor Bob Leonard, Chair of Maggie’s Professional Advisory Board.

Visitors to Maggie’s Centres around the country have explained their importance: “Maggie’s is like an oasis. It gives you the tools to take your future forward, to take control of your life,” said Barbara in Edinburgh. “Cancer hijacks your life and drops you into a situation where you have to learn a new language. Having a Centre within easy reach has been vital in helping me cope,” said Rani in London.

Designed as a transformational space between the large institution of Victoria Hospital and the beautiful landscape of an abandoned coalmine that has been completely reclaimed by nature, Maggie’s Fife makes particular use of natural light. Triangular windows and skylights bring daylight within, while the wholly glazed façade draws visitors attention to the beautiful ravine that is full of plant and animal life.

The design embodies a contrast between exterior and interior. The outside, with its sweeping black, sparkling roof, gives way to a remarkable sense of space and light inside, focussed around the large family kitchen table; just as shimmering black coal contains within it a source of warmth and comfort. This contrast enlightens and surprises every first time visitor, and is in its context within Fife’s historic mining community.

Zaha Hadid said at the 2006 opening of Maggie’s Fife: “Anybody who knew Maggie Keswick Jencks felt at home in her presence. She had a unique ability to make everyone feel special by giving them the time and space to express and be themselves. It was important that this unique quality was in some way translated into the design for Maggie’s Fife. We shared an understanding of how significantly environments can help enhance personal wellbeing.

“Once you step into the building you enter a completely different world. It is a kind of domestic space, it’s relaxing. Hospitals should have intimate spaces, places where patients can have a little time for themselves, to retreat into.”

Maggie’s continues to grow; with 19 centres at major NHS cancer hospitals in the UK, abroad and online.

“The NHS took one poorly, scared, vulnerable woman and fixed her and Maggie’s gave me my life back.” Loraine McIntosh on Maggie’s Fife (via Fife Today)

Maggie’s Centres

Royal Parks Half Marathon