Cancer centre is latest by a big name designer

Heatherwick Studio has completed its first healthcare project – a Maggie’s cancer care centre in Leeds.

The 462sq m building in the grounds of St James’s University Hospital in Leeds is the charity’s 26th UK centre.

Built on a sloping site, the design was conceived as three giant planters, each enclosing a counselling room. Together they surround a kitchen area – which every Maggie’s brief requires to be at the heart of the project – and other social spaces including a library and exercise room.

The centre’s structure is built from a prefabricated and sustainably sourced spruce timber system.

Porous materials such as lime plaster are used to maintain the internal humidity of the naturally ventilated building.

The rooftop garden, by landscape designers Balston Agius, was inspired by Yorkshire woodlands and features native English species alongside areas of evergreen to provide warmth in the winter.

Maggie’s centres have been designed by a starry list of architects including Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and Frank Gehry. The one by Rogers Stirk Harbour & Partners in west London won the Stirling Prize.