Health \ Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre, Edinburgh

Our project for the first Maggie's Centre was completed in 1996. An extension was commissioned five years after and completed in 2001.  A second extension was commissioned in 2014 and completed in 2020. So our involvement with the building and the organisation  has therefore stretched over a quarter of a century and we are very proud of what the Maggie's Centre movement has achieved with centres all over the UK and beyond and in our own contribution  at the Western General Hospital. We are the only architect who had Maggie Jencks herself as our client; her vision was for a place cancer sufferers could go to get help and solace as well as access to independent and alternative sources of advice and treatment. Activities range from single and group counselling, beauty therapy, yoga and relaxation but above all the centre is a social meeting place where experiences can be shared.

The original project was to squeeze activities into a small disused stable building at the edge of the hospital site facing north. The first extension doubled the size of the building and extended in two opposite directions simultaneously. A large subdivisible room became the main feature. The second extension provided a bigger kitchen space, a new, large meeting pavilion and more offices. The extensions (neither of which were ever envisaged in advance) have continued to keep the double height space in the centre of the original building  as the centre of the larger building and ensure that there is no dedicated circulation-only space. Architecturally we have developed the extensions in the same language as the original. We also took over some unused open space to create a long garden and garden walk to the east culminating in a garden pavilion to our own design which was completed in 2022.  This is the culmination of our idea to incorporate some unused hospital ground into making a new garden (designed by Emma Keswick) as part of the recent building phase. The path down the garden now terminates in this tiny building which is designed in the same vocabulary as the previous and is to be used for 1:1 consultation, small groups and individual visits. 

Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres website can be found at

Architects  Richard Murphy, Ed Hollis, Oliver Chapman
Engineers David Narro Associates
Contractor Peter Walker
Colour Consultant Linda Green, Studio Green
Architects Richard Murphy, Matt Bremner, Ian Strakis, Claire Gaffney, Keith Ross
Engineers David Narro Associates
Quantity Surveyor Ross & Morton
Colour Consultant Linda Green, Studio Green
Contractor Reywood Construction
Construction Cost <£345,000 (Total)
Client Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Care Trust
Architects Richard Murphy, Darryl Roberts, Tom Hetherington
Engineers David Narro Associates
Quantity Surveyor CBA Chartered Quantity Surveyors
Landscape Architects Emma Keswick / Rupert Golby
Contractor John Dennis & Co
Construction Cost  <£500,000 (Total)
Client  Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Care Trust



1996 EAA Conservation Award
1997 RIBA Stirling Shortlist
1997 RIBA Award
1997 RIBA / Department of Health National Award


1 October 2021 'Miracles do happen' Camilla's words of comfort to wife of cancer patient in Edinburgh Edinburgh Evening News
30 Apr 2010 Cutting-edge New Look For Cancer Care At Maggie's
30 Apr 2010 An Architectural Design For Life - Architecture
March 2010 Big Hug For The Wonderful Maggie's
Mar 2008 Maggies' Friends The Herald Magazine
March 2008 Why Are The World's Best Architects Drawn To Maggie's Centres? The Herald Magazine
Nov 2006 Maggie's Cancer Caring Centre, Fife - Does It Live Up To Expectations? Architecture Today Number 173
Sept 2001 Handled With Care - A J Building Study Architects' Journal
April / May 2001 The Gehry Effect Livewire
Feb 2001 Somewhere To Come Home To, Building Health Building Design
July 1999 Building Humanity Back Into Hospitals The Scotsman
Sept 1999 A Vision Of The Future Evening News
Dec 1998 Building Bravery - My Favourite Building Prospect Magazine
Nov 1998 Maggies Centre Lancet City Wins Top Award - Ccc Evening News
May 1998 Maggies Centre South East Asia Building
April 1998 Maggies Centre Scottish Fields
Dec 1997 Healthy Building Syndrome Scotland On Sunday
6 Nov 1997 Murphy Carries Scottish Hopes - Stirling Prize Project Scotland
6 Nov 1997 Stirling Prize Architects' Journal
2 Nov 1997 Design & Conquer - Stirling Prize Sunday Times
Nov 1997 Stirling Short List Building Design
9 Oct 1997 Four In Race For Top Prize Project Scotland
Sept 1997 Patients Support Centre In Edinburgh Detail Magazine
Mar 1997 Dealing With Cancer In A Relaxed Way Sunday Times
Mar 1997 Comfortable Surroundings Prospect
Mar 1997 Murphy's Centre For Cancer Care Architects' Journal
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