Architecture and design – Swansea
Peace and serenity combine in the wonderful, swirling structure of Maggie’s Swansea. Built in 2011 and designed and conceived by the world renowned Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa, the building joins the East with the West, and brings a sense of calm and tranquility to all who visit it.
It is also connects to the cosmos, its cosmic whirlpool shape reminiscent of the Milky Way, and this evokes an inspirational and uplifting feeling.
Upon entering the building, the sense of community is instantly apparent. In the central ‘drum’ the wood burning stove brings a warm glow to the communal space, and there is always a kettle on the hob, so that visitors can enjoy a hot drink while sat around the kitchen table. There are then a series of more secluded spaces in the wings, where focused meetings and support can take place, although the way these are designed means that a sense of openness is still maintained. There is also a lot of natural light throughout the centre, not to mention fantastic views, on account of the plentiful strategically-placed windows throughout.
Gardens wrap around the building, and overlook into Swansea Bay. The garden, designed by Kim Wilkie, attracts wildlife, heightening the natural and tranquil feel, and there is also a fully functional allotment. The centre sits among a small wooded area, and the wings of the design also help to shelter the outside seating areas, meaning that visitors can enjoy sitting out for as much of the year as possible.
The architect — Kisho Kurokawa with Garbers & James
Kisho Kurokawa was one of the greatest Japanese architects of the 20th Century. He was a personal friend of our founder Maggie Keswick Jencks and has created a design which will both inspire and comfort people. Sadly, Dr Kurokawa died before the centre could be built, but his designs were able to be realised thanks to collaboration with the architects Garbers & James.
“The new Maggie’s Centre will come out of the earth and swing around with two arms like a rotating galaxy. One side will welcome the visitor and lead to the other side, which embraces nature, the trees, rocks and water. A place set apart, as she said of a garden.”
– Kisho Kurokawa