Maggie's Centre, London was opened to the public by Nigella Lawson and Maggie's Patron, Sarah Brown, on 29 April 2008.
The small, orange building with a roof that seems to float above it has enlivened a challenging corner of Fulham Palace Road, with a tranquil garden leading up to the entrance. Stone sculptures and wooden benches provide welcome and pleasant places to sit along the winding path to the front door.
Designed on a domestic scale, the centre's heart is the double-height kitchen, from which the three sitting rooms, library, courtyard gardens and a number of other spaces for more private or personal conversations, open. Light fills the interior, coming through the glazed walls at first floor level and through openings in the roof.
Despite being on a busy main road, the centre is surprisingly quiet inside, thanks to the protection of the wall and birch trees which wrap around it. The birch-faced ply and fair-face concrete finishes and furnishings - that include rugs by Paolo Lenti and furniture by Alvar Aalto - add to the relaxed, homely atmosphere.
Since opening its doors, the team at Maggie's have welcomed a constant stream of visitors with cups of tea, knowledge and support, as well as a wide range of events and activities, from lunch clubs to yoga. Maggie's Centre, London is already receiving in the region of 50 visitors per day.
The raised roof allows natural light to enter the whole of the building. Partitions divide up the open structure, placing the kitchen at the heart of the building.
The landscaping will integrate the Centre into the larger hospital site: mature plane trees indicate a route from the hospital to a public courtyard surrounded by white flowered magnolia trees.
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