Heavyweight Stirling Prize Goes to Richard Rogers for London Cancer Centre


Lord Richard Rogers of Rogers Stirk Harbour +Partners has rebounded from a year of scrapping with Prince Charles to take the prestigious annual RIBA Stirling Prize — it’s like the Booker or the Turner, but for British architects. The firm’s design for Maggie’s Centre, a cancer rehabilitation annex connected to Charing Cross Hospital in central London, was lauded by the jury for its non-clinical nature: “It could be a private house in a Finnish forest instead of a health building.” The award-winning building was actually one of two Rogers designs nominated for the prize and follows the firm’s 2006 win for the Barajas Airport in Madrid. Full photo set, plus bonus video, after the jump.

Designed with a cozy British cuppa-tea premise in mind, the architecture team constructed Maggie’s Centre 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, homey atmosphere.”

The other Richard Rogers nomination, the Bodegas Protos winery in Spain, is more outwardly ambitious than Maggie’s Centre: its five arched vaults reference the curves of a wooden wine barrel while glass walls lend a transparency to the winemaking process. Other nominees for this year’s Stirling include a redesign for the commercial Royex House in London by Eric Parry Architects; a Danish art museum by Tony Fretton Architects; Kentish Town Health Centre, London, by Allford Hall Monaghan Morris; and a masterplan for Liverpoool One by Exeter firm BDP.

Without further ado, the visual goods:

Maggie’s Centre London occupies a corner in the grounds of Charing Cross Hospital. Image via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, © Richard Bryant.

The floating roof overhangs the entrance ramp. Image via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, © Morley von Sternerg. A number of areas provide informal settings for visitors to sit and talk. Image via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, © Richard Bryant.

Interior shot, © José Miguel Hernández Hernández for ArchDaily. Louvres in the overhanging roof filter the sunlight. Image via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, © Richard Bryant.

Paved and landscaped public area in front of the building. Image via Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, © Richard Bryant.

Central atrium, © José Miguel Hernández Hernández for ArchDaily.

Watch the Architect’s Journal video clip of the building and interview with the project manager for Maggie’s Centre:

Your thoughts, ladies and gentlemen of the public jury?

[via ArchDaily]