【编者按】Maggie’s Centres 是一个连锁疗养机构，设立的初衷在于为罹患癌症的人们提供一个舒适的环境。其目的不在于替代传统癌症治疗，而在于为病人提供建议。它的选址通常位于正规医院附近，但是独立于英国国民健康保险制度。它的医院设计都由世界知名的建筑师操刀，这个长长的名单包括Rem Koolhaas、Frank Gehry等。
Maggie’s Centres are world-renowned health center, aiming to help people suffered from cancer. Instead of providing cancer therapy, they play the role as a caring environment that can provide support for those who suffered. They are located near the ordinary hospitals, but are independent from NHS systems. The center gains great reputation worldwide and many famous architects have offered their design, including Rem Koolhaas, Frank Gehry, etc.
In addition to the central programme of providing free practical, emotional and social support, Maggie’s buildings variously serve as oasis, message bearer and inspiration, but have not explicitly addressed the relation between the built environment and causes of cancer. One of the unanswered questions cancer sufferers ask is, ‘What caused it?’ The increasing evidence of cancer in developed countries points toward carcinogenic elements in our food, drink and air, and material components of our built environment.
▼建筑朴实无华，传达出在自然面前的谦卑，humble entrance calls for an awe for life ©Image courtesy Alex de Rijke
dRMM are an architecture practice immersed in the orchestration of materials and the built environment, and how design makes people live and feel differently. Our pioneering work in timber construction included the UK’s first cross-laminated timber public buildings at Kingsdale School, London 2006-9, and a succession of well-known projects ever since. When the Maggie’s project started I was Dean of Architecture at the Royal College of Art, but still actively building and promoting timber architecture with dRMM; mostly housing and education buildings. I was honoured to accept such an interesting commission from an enlightened client.
▼建筑全貌，overall view ©Image courtesy Alex de Rijke
The building design is deliberately less about form and more about content. A well-made, carefully proportioned, simple box of surprises. Nature and daylight and the view of the ground below and sky above (the strong presence of outside) has been brought into the interior in an unexpectedly powerful way; a large asymmetrical hole through which a tree grows marks the centre with an absence. The building hovers over a new tree garden; the resulting inside/out ‘tree house’ typology and shelter created questions our removed relationship to nature, and simultaneously embraces the human contradiction of needing to be inside but preferring to be outside.
▼庭院中央是一颗大树，the tree in the garden ©Image courtesy Alex de Rijke
▼建筑翱翔于庭院之上，人们仿佛身至庭院却又在庭院之外，to be or not to be… that’s a question… ©Image courtesy Jasmin Sohi
▼向上生长的大树吸引着人们一探究竟，the tree in the center seems attracting people to come forward ©Image courtesy Jasmin Sohi
▼从庭院向建筑内漫步，the promenade towards the center ©Image courtesy Tony Barwell
▼从建筑内看庭院，view the garden from interior ©Image courtesy Jasmin Sohi
Why wood? In wood there is hope, humanity, scale, warmth, and nature’s clever plan to absorb carbon. Wood is a non-toxic, versatile, benign, anti-carcinogenic material. People like wood, but steel and concrete are the industry default. Having pioneering engineered timber construction since 2000, I was delighted to be able to invent and develop cross-laminated hardwood through dRMM’s collaboration with AHEC and ARUP for Endless Stair in 2013. A key new material which outperformed existing cross-laminated timber was the result. For Maggie’s Oldham, dRMM re-present this new material in an integrated design for a public building, carrying a message for cancer care and for environmentally sophisticated architecture. In a didactic display of engineered timber and glass construction, all of the walls and roof are visibly structured and form an exquisite natural finish internally. Externally the building is draped in corrugated, heat-treated wood, like a surreal theatrical curtain. Inside and out, whether structure, furniture or thermally-modified cladding, the timber used is American tulipwood; a prolific fast-growing deciduous Magnolia tree made noble here by skillful manipulation. Maggie’s Oldham is the first cross-laminated hardwood building in the world.
▼在木头里，有希望、人性、尺度、温暖，in wood there is hope, humanity, scale, warmth ©Image courtesy Alex de Rijke
But the use of wood at Maggie’s is just part of a bigger design intention to reverse the norms of hospital architecture, where clinical institutionalised environments and management procedures can make patients feel dispirited and disempowered. Cancer patients feel desperate and therefore hand over control of their lives too easily to medical processes. Their time is precious, yet huge amounts are wasted waiting hours in hospitals, on steel and plastic furniture in rooms without daylight, contemplating vending machines and mortality. Maggie’s centres invert this experience, turning a painful time into a pleasure.
▼让时光变得愉悦，turning a painful time into a pleasure ©Image courtesy Alex de Rijke
Maggie’s offer of comfort, humanity and empathy is carefully judged. Visitors may have just had devastating news; be needing advice; be in remission helping others; be waiting for a clinic; be attending a class; be a carer needing rest; or a family recently bereaved. Staff are recruited to assess visitor’s needs skillfully but do not wear ID badges – nor do the Maggie’s centres have door signage, only open doors.
▼舒适、人性化和关怀始终被放在第一位，offer of comfort, humanity and empathy ©Image courtesy Jasmin Sohi
Just as people have to talk, so must the building communicate in order to comfort, reward curiosity, inform and empower the user. dRMM took a great deal of advice from Maggie’s and people dealing with cancer. Lucy Steed-Fassett, a close friend living and dying with cancer, also helped me think about the general and the particular; from the psycho-logical effect of specific spaces and views, to the effect of light levels and color on skin made sensitive from radiotherapy, right down to the details of wood not metal door handles to avoid the neuropathy of fingers made painful by chemotherapy.
▼建筑与人对话，communication between people and architecture ©Image courtesy Alex de Rijke
One of the important questions asked by the client has focused on the need for, and means of, creating privacy. The plan is spectacularly open, framing views of the garden to the south, the horizon to the north, and the sky above. This main space is served by a suite of small rooms on one side and seating niches, but the occasional need for larger subdivision has resulted in what I like to call useful art. Dutch artist Petra Blaisse has designed a full-height reversible curtain loop which creates an intimate free-form enclosure, redefining space, light, colour, acoustics and privacy levels.
▼在开放空间中营造私密性，privacy in an open space ©Image courtesy Jasmin Sohi
The client, design team and contractors have worked hard and collaborated well, from building to landscape to furniture. The outcome is a holistic design environment, where the shadowy foliage of the trees in a framed view is as deliberate as the comfortable height, fabric and colour of your chair, or the home-grown tomatoes for the soup on the central, circular tulipwood table. Maggie’s Oldham is a carefully made manifesto for the architecture of health. Cancer deprives people of certainty; Maggie’s give them care and consideration.
▼一个和谐的整体设计，a holistic design ©Image courtesy Jasmin Sohi
▼没个细节都经过了精心设计，every detail is thoughtfully designed ©Image courtesy Alex de Rijke
▼夜晚的中庭，garden in the night ©Image courtesy Alex de Rijke
▼平面图，plan ©Image courtesy dRMM
▼剖面图，section drawings ©Image courtesy dRMM
▼细部，detail drawings ©Image courtesy dRMM
Funding: Stoller Charitable Trust
Architect: dRMM – www.drmm.co.uk
Timber Advice: AHEC
Landscape Design: dRMM & Rupert Muldoon
Structural Engineer: Booth King
Cost Consultant: Robert Lombardelli Partnership
Main Contractor: F Parkinson
more: dRMM Architects