Fulham Palace Road with it’s heavy urban traffic, crawling along in the car, ears protesting from the noise of heavy trucks grinding through the gears, in the summer a hot dusty street, pavement sticky and melting, somewhere I try to avoid going.
Though garnered with architecture accolades I was still reluctant to go along to The Maggie’s Caring Centre, London at Charing Cross Hospital and have a look. Curiosity eventually got the better of me, what a surprise to walk along the street and see the transformation of this mean plot and in spite of my prejudices about it’s location it was an oasis of calm.
The approach is along a winding undulating path through lush planting below giant plane trees. The informality of the approach helps soften the process of confronting a vicious medical condition. As you approach the entrance the building wraps you into it’s enclosed private space. Inside the domestic building is filled with light, the space is punctuated by enclosed peaceful garden spaces. The largest is a private courtyard space which in turn looks out through a window opening to the winding approach path. Removecd from the outside world the feeling is of safety.
It’s not often I feel emotional about buildings, but when it does happen the feeling that goes through my body is like an electric charge, this building surrounded by its garden has that special quality that takes your breath away. An exceptional environment and service that is freely available to anyone with cancer. Thank you.