Architecture Monday

Looking more than a little like a giant plane about to take flight, there’s a lot I like about this cancer center in Manchester.

Starting with the continuous, repetitious, and very nifty wood truss system that forms the building’s long spine.  Carefully crafted from wood, they are playful and expressive, and provide a flexibility that allows the outer walls to jut in, and out, then back in again to meet the needs of the rooms as they unfold down the length of the building.  It also creates a continuous covered porch that encircles the whole affair.

There’s also this great mezzanine, a quiet refuge to read, to talk, to work, and even just to watch the sky, or the stars, go by.

The pièce de résistance is, no doubt, the greenhouse.  Located prominently in the building’s prow, the geodesic-like structure feels at once both comforting and playful, a space full of life – literally, with the plants, but also the experience of the spatial qualities itself.  Perfect vibrancy for recovery.

And how the table that can roll itself outdoors… lovely detail.

Maggie’s Centre, by Foster + Partners.