Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre Leeds, Yorkshire Cancer Care, Bexley Wing St James’s University Hospital, England

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre, Leeds

St James’s University Hospital Development, West Yorkshire design by Heatherwick Studio, UK

24 May 2022

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre is 2022 RIBA Yorkshire Building of the Year

Maggie’s Leeds, West Yorkshire building UK
photo © Hufton and Crow

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre – 2022 RIBA Yorkshire Awards Winner

Maggie’s Yorkshire by Heatherwick Studio has been announced as the 2022 Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Yorkshire Building of the Year.

To the benefit of all the patients who visit this Maggie’s, to all the staff who work there and to anyone who visits, the Architect has created a very special building, which addresses the client’s brief with full marks but moreover, has created a building with real heart and soul.

5 May 2022

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre is one of four 2022 RIBA Yorkshire Award Winners

2022 RIBA Yorkshire Award Winners

Maggie’s Leeds, West Yorkshire building UK
photos © Hufton and Crow

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre Award

Jury Report

Sitting on very un-presupposing piece of land in the heart of St James Hospital campus in Leeds, next to a multi storey car park and the main ambulance route through the hospital, the latest in a line of Maggie’s cancer support centres has been born.

When approaching the exterior of the building it is immediately apparent that this is no ordinary building, submerged in tree and shrub planting with cascades of foliage running down its glazed facades.

Maggie’s Leeds, West Yorkshire building design

The building addresses the storey change in level across the site by sprouting a series of timber canopies (three in all) like giant toadstools, which add further to the natural wilderness of the planting.

External materials of whitewashed timber, glass and dark bronze coloured glazing and roof edging, all combine to provide a convincing, non-threatening and friendly aesthetic, the antithesis of many of the adjoining hospital buildings themselves.

Upon entering the building via the gently sloping path, you are struck instantly by the sense of calm and the peaceful atmosphere within the generous open spaces which form the interior.

Maggie’s Leeds, West Yorkshire building interior design

Organised around three cores, which form the trunks to the canopy structures above, a series of generous plywood staircases lead you to each level, arriving at open lounge areas of varying sizes for individual or group discussions. The cores themselves, house a series of private counselling rooms each varying in size and decoration, but all emphasising a domestic and homely feel, to put the patients at ease.

As with all Maggie’s centres, the kitchen is the hub and heart space of the building, encouraging staff, patients, and visitors to make their own cup of tea and sit down for a chat at one of the gorgeous bespoke cork kitchen tables.

The entire building is cleverly filled with a variety of high-quality furniture and planting, using bespoke shelving between the structural canopy ribs, to reinforce the domestic and homely feel.

The use of materials internally is practical and warm, with superb attention to detail. The cocoa coloured floor screed is separated by the thinnest of brass strips, dividing the perfectly cut perimeter band of giant plywood which forms a sinuous border that flows around the perimeter of each space. Even the aggregate to the exposed concrete retaining walls which form each of the principal levels has a carefully chosen hue, which blends perfectly with the overall palette of materials and furnishings.

Maggie’s as a charity, are well known for commissioning high-profile Architectural practices with a clear intention to not only provide an oasis of calm for cancer patients but at the same time, furthering Architectural debate.

In Maggie’s Yorkshire this approach has once again been followed. And it has paid off. In spades!

It would be very easy to take a generous budget, yet squander it, making grand gestures which aren’t practical or sustainable. It would also be easy to achieve a practical building which works for its client but has no soul.

To the benefit of all the patients who visit this Maggie’s, to all the staff who work there and to anyone lucky enough to visit, the Architect has created a very special building, which addresses the client’s brief with full marks but moreover, has created a building with real heart and soul.

Maggie’s Leeds, West Yorkshire interior design

RIBA region: Yorkshire
Architect practice: Heatherwick Studio
Date of completion: Jun 2020
Date of occupation: Jun 2020
Client company name: Maggie’s
Project city/town: Leeds
Contract value: Confidential

Gross internal area: 462.00 m²
Net internal area: 460.00 m²
Cost per m²: Confidential
Contractor company name: Sir Robert McAlpine

Maggie’s Leeds, West Yorkshire building interior


Structural Engineers: AKT II
Landscape Architects: Balston Agius
Timber Subcontractor: Blumer-Lehmann AG
MEP Consultant: Max Fordham LLP
Lighting Design: Light Bureau
Fire Consultant: OFR
Approved Inspectors: Butler & Young Approved Inspectors
CDM Advisor: CDM Scotland

Quantity Surveyor / Cost Consultant
Robert Lombardelli Partnership


• RIBA Regional Award
• Regional Award Short List

22 Feb 2022

Maggie’s Leeds Shortlisted for RIBA Yorkshire Awards 2022

photo © Hufton and Crow

Five projects have been shortlisted for the 2022 RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Yorkshire Awards:

• Carnegie School of Sport, West Yorkshire, Sheppard Robson
• Courtyard House, West Yorkshire, Doma Architects
• Leeds Footbridge, West Yorkshire, Gagarin Studio with DP Squared
• Maggie’s Leeds, West Yorkshire, Heatherwick Studio
• The Alice Hawthorn, North Yorkshire, De Matos Ryan

2022 RIBA Yorkshire Awards Shortlist

7 Jul 2021

Award for Maggie’s Leeds by Heatherwick Studio

Maggie’s Leeds by Heatherwick Studio – photo © Hufton+Crow

Maggie’s Leeds is a winner of the 9th Annual Architizer A+Awards

15 Feb 2018

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre

Design: Heatherwick Studio

Location: Bexley Wing, at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds, West Yorkshire, Northern England, UK

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre by Heatherwick Studio in Leeds Starts on Site

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre, building by Heatherwick Studio
images courtesy of architects

The Centre’s innovative design consists of a series of contained gardens that will capture the therapeutic effect of plants and contrast with the more formal surrounding hospital buildings. The design will create a warm, informal interior space as well as an inspiring exterior to encourage positivity among Centre visitors and passers-by.

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre, Leeds building by Heatherwick Studio

The building will take the form of a collection of stepped planter elements, each holding a piece of garden, bringing the planting into and over the building itself. Shared and private internal spaces will be playfully created between and within the planters.

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre, Leeds building design

Heatherwick Studio’s building design provides the setting for the surrounding gardens which will be created by award-winning landscape designer Marie-Louise Agius of Balston Agius.

The focus on greenery is logical for a centre based on health and healing. Some recent Maggie’s Centres have some wonderful pockets of greenery, with Maggie’s Centre Gartnavel by Rem Koolhaas’ OMA standing out, where the whole building rotates around, and looks onto, a central green space.
The first schemes by Richard Murphy (Edinburgh) and Page\Park Architects (Inverness) had gentle external gardens, whereas more recent centres are starting to bring greenery inside. A lovely example is the Maggie’s cancer centre in Oldham where the building floats over a new landscape, with a cluster of small trees popping up into the heart of the project.

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre, Leeds building Heatherwick Studio

The design reminds me of the studio’s recent Learning Hub in Singapore, though obviously a lot lower.

Heatherwick Studio’s work includes the award-winning UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympic Games, joint design with BIG of the new Google Headquarters at Kings Cross, the abandoned Garden Bridge, and the New Bus for London.

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre, Leeds building interior

7 Aug 2014

Maggie’s Centre in Leeds

Design: Heatherwick Studio

Location: Leeds, England

Maggie’s comes to Yorkshire
Heatherwick Studio to design new Maggie’s Centre

Maggie’s, the charity which provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their families and friends, is delighted to announce that Heatherwick Studio will design the new Maggie’s Centre in Yorkshire due to open in 2016 within the grounds of St James’s University Hospital, Leeds.

pictured: Maggie’s Manchester

Built in the grounds of NHS hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are warm and welcoming places, with qualified professionals on hand to offer a programme of support that has been shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. The Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre will be built adjacent to the Bexley Wing at the St James’s University Hospital, the hospital’s world-class cancer unit. Situated among a number of multi-storey buildings, the site demands a high degree of ingenuity to create the calm, uplifting environment so important to the people who visit and work in Maggie’s Centres.

Laura Lee, Chief Executive of Maggie’s said:

“We are delighted that Heatherwick Studio is designing the new Maggie’s Centre in Yorkshire. Great architecture is vital to the care that Maggie’s offers and the studio is renowned for its inventive approach to design and its ability to truly get the best out of a space. This will be our first Centre in Yorkshire and we look forward to providing the vital help and support needed to people living with cancer in the region.”

Founded by Thomas Heatherwick in 1994, Heatherwick Studio is one of the most experimental design studios practising in Britain today. The studio’s work spans the disciplines of architecture, engineering, transport, urban planning, infrastructure and landscape. Notable works include the Olympic Cauldron for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the New Bus for London, the award-winning UK Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 and the highly anticipated Garden Bridge, a stunning new public garden and pedestrian crossing set to span the River Thames in central London.

Thomas Heatherwick said:

“We are honoured to be working with the Maggie’s team on a new Centre. Our role is to make a special place that will support and encourage people affected by cancer and inspire the staff that work with them.”

St James’s University Hospital in Leeds sees over 9,000 people newly diagnosed with cancer per year. It provides specialist cancer services to a population of around 2.6 million people across the Yorkshire region and beyond. Maggie’s and St James’s University Hospital are working in partnership to create cancer support of the highest quality for people in the surrounding area.

Linda Pollard CBE, Chair of the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, adds:

“We are proud to have one of the most modern and well equipped cancer hospitals in the world here in Leeds. It is therefore fitting that an internationally-renowned designer will be working on our site to develop our own Maggie’s Centre in Yorkshire, which will complement the excellent care our staff already provide.

“This is a tremendously exciting opportunity and we are looking forward to working with the charity to make this fantastic project a reality. The philosophy behind the Maggie’s Centre fits perfectly with the holistic care and support we aim to provide for cancer patients from across Yorkshire, and it will be a wonderful and uplifting resource for them.”

Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre Leeds images / information from Maggie’s Centre

Maggies Centre London : main page with photos
Maggie's Centre London
photo : Speirs and Major Associates / James Newton

Address: St James’s University Hospital, Beckett St, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS9 7TF
Phone: 0113 243 3144

Website: Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre, Leeds

Location: St James’s University Hospital, Beckett Street, Leeds, LS9 7TF, West Yorkshire, England, UK

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Comments / photos for the Maggie’s Yorkshire Centre design by Heatherwick Studio page welcome