The Architecture of Hope

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Since the mid- 1990s an exciting  building poroject has been under way- new cancer caring centres that offer a freesh approach to both architecture and health. The aim is for these centres , named after Maggie Jencks and co-founded with her husband ,  the writer and landscape designer Charles Jencks, to be situated at all the major british hospitals that treat cancer.

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Since the mid- 1990s an exciting  building poroject has been under way- new cancer caring centres that offer a freesh approach to both architecture and health. The aim is for these centres , named after Maggie Jencks and co-founded with her husband ,  the writer and landscape designer Charles Jencks, to be situated at all the major british hospitals that treat cancer.

Already six have been completed and six more are in the pipeline. Starting in Scotland, where the first were built, they have implications well beyond their modest size and origins. Complementary to the large hospital , and huge NHS, they present a face that is welcoming , risk-taking,aesthetic and spiritual; with their commitment to the other arts, including landscape, tkey bring in the full panoply of constructive means.

Maggie’s centres are a new mixture of building types for healing that have different roots in the past. As Jencks and heathcote show, this hybrid quality is a response to the condition of cancer. its myriad causes and bewildering  number of possible therapies. The ‘architecture of hope ‘ is the emergent hybrid genre, consisting of various metaphors that correspond in kind to the many different  types of cancer and their various treatments. With an ageing population, such caring centres, which offer psychological, social and infornational guidance,will inevitably become more common in the future, and cover the myriad of chronic roblems, such a heart disease. Becaue the genome project increases the choic of treatment, maggie’s centres are a model for what may soon become a standard building type.

The centres have been designed by well- known architects: Richard murphy, page & park, frank gehry, zaha hadid and Richard rogers. Further projects underway include buildings  by Richard macCormac, the late kisho kurokawa, piers gough, foreign office architects, wilkenson & eyre and rem koolhaas. Almost all of these architects were clos friends of Charles and Maggie, whose vision was the initial inspiration. This close friendship and commitment helps explain the somewhat unusual choice of designers.

But the centres are committed firsly to helping cancer sufferers help themselves, and to inspiring carers to care more, and secondly to architecture. It is the arts and building, important allies in the perennial struggle with cancer, that lead to the ‘architecture of hope’ as patients walk into a centre after a diagnosis, or enervating treatment, often disoriented and lacking in self-confidece, they enter another world which acknowledges their importance and a basic condition that may become prevalent: living with cancer and not losing hope.

Source:The Architecture of Hope Book
Collect more:Afshin.Qorbani

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