Maggie’s Lanarkshire


Kenny Fraser
University of Edinburgh


Portfolio, Practice Based, garden, landscape, Airdrie


The project is an enclosed walled garden for the Maggie’s Centre at Lanarkshire Hospital in Airdrie. Maggie’s Centres provide the physical space for practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer, their family and friends. The garden has several distinct components comprising an entrance courtyard, a woodland garden, and a series of four small external courts which are embedded within the building plan, all of which are enclosed and linked seamlessly and cohesively to the building by a finely articulated perimeter wall of Danish bricks which also embraces two detached stands of mature lime trees. Fraser’s practice-based research over 4 years involved all stages of the design and construction of the project. It enhances knowledge associated with designing outdoor environments to improve human well-being in a cancer caring environment via design team, client and stakeholder engagement, design development and iteration. The research also establishes a model for future centres by emphasising the relationship of building and walled garden (internal and external spaces) as a cohesive overall environment in contrast to many of the earlier centres, in which building and garden remained detached from one another. The research contributes further knowledge to the delivery of projects via the technical resolution of the walled garden/hortus conclusus concept which allowed the retention of the existing mature trees despite the associated boundary wall foundations on a site with Japanese knotweed present. Both the wall and the presence of Japanese knotweed would typically require the removal of the mature trees and the dilution of the concept. The retention of these trees suggests a dialogue between them, the series of enclosed gardens and the building itself. Significance has been recognised by a wide variety of awards, reviews, publications and peer reviewed website and exhibition inclusion. The project was also shortlisted for the RIBA Stirling Prize in 2015.

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30 May 2024


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.