The Maggie’s Centre Fife is within the grounds of Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy. Providing a resource and counselling centre for people with cancer, Maggie’s Fife is domestic in scale but unique in execution.
Maggie’s Centre Fife is located on the edge of a hollow adjacent to the hospital. The hollow has a dramatic topography, which in combination with the natural foliage and trees creates a very distinctive protected environment in stark contrast to the other facilities of Victoria Hospital. As a single storey construction, Maggie’s Fife is a continuation of the existing tree-line that surrounds this natural hollow. The centre has been designed as a transition between the two different types of spaces - the natural landscape and the hospital. By using various study models, Zaha Hadid Architects explored how an edge to the hollow could be developed which transforms itself into a building envelope - becoming a gateway to the natural landscape. Volume & Landscape Externally the form of the Centre derives from a folding surface and a connecting ground slab. The folding surface articulates a directional emphasis of moving the visitor into a different space from the rest of the hospital grounds. By cladding the visible roof and two opposing walls with the same material and making the remaining elevations a mix of translucent and clear glass, the directional nature of this form is reinforced. Large overhangs of the roof are used to extend the building into the landscape on both sides. These overhangs protect the entrance doors on the north side whilst on the south side they provide solar shading to the glass elevation and partially cover the terrace.The centre sits on a concrete plinth which connects it to the landscape. On the north side, this outlines the car parking before rising to the same level as the public entrance. The strong directional language and material contrast of the centre’s plinth with the tarmac of the car park clearly defi ne the entrance for the new visitor. The plinth continues along the eastern side to separate the centre from the car park with a wall that gradually rises to separate the public space of the entrance from the private spaces of the terrace. It terminates by wrapping around the southern tip of the centre as a south-facing terrace that cantilevers off the sloping ground to the north.
Internally the arrangement of rooms is centered on an open plan kitchen with offices on the north elevation adjacent to the entrance. To offer privacy, the rooms to the east have a semi opaque façade. Visitors to Maggie’s Fife will have an unobstructed view through the centre to the south facing glass elevation to the hidden natural landscape of the hollow. The internal central space is kept as open and column free as possible. A ramp connects the main space to a lower platform containing the fl exi-hall. A system of shutters and sliding doors allows this space to be separated from the rest of the centre. The southern facing façade is floor-to-ceiling glazing with windows and doors allowing direct access to the terrace. The extension of the roof beyond the glazing and terrace gives a continuity between the inside / outside spaces. Triangular roof and wall skylights are scattered over the building to allow views, light and continuity of form into the space.