Our design for this Maggie’s Cancer Caring Centre at Musgrove Park Hospital, Taunton will provide a calming, sanctuary for people with cancer and their family and friends. Set in a lush landscape that provides external screening and filters views from within, the building is a carefully considered composition of landscaped courtyards and translucent volumes. The tall thin columns supporting the veranda roofs have a scale that addresses the park, while echoing the stems of wet woodland trees.
The building is conceived as cluster of pavilions connected by a two-storey central volume. ‘Green rooms’ between the pavilions provide amenity and calm and connect the building to its surrounding landscape. The gradient of privacy between the kitchen and consultation areas is ensured predominantly through landscaping rather than through walls. Each space is designed to feel light, warm, and uplifting.
The roofs’ gentle concave curvature expresses the collection of rainwater, responding to the site’s undulating horizon formed by the Blackdown Hills. The roofs to the lower pavilions accommodate biodiverse planting and wildflowers, while the higher pavilion’s roof accommodates photovoltaic panels.
Alison Brooks Architects secured planning permission for the centre in 2019. However, changes within Taunton Deane Council and decisions over use of the land have meant the project will not be able to proceed on the original site. Alison Brooks Architects continue to work closely with Maggie’s, Musgrove Park Hospital and Taunton Deane Borough Council to find a new site. There is significant support from all parties to bring a Maggie’s centre to Taunton.