Maggie’s Centre at the Royal Free

London, United Kingdom


Maggie’s Royal Free brings Maggie’s expert care and support for people with cancer to north London, complementing Maggie’s in west London, at Barts, and at the Royal Marsden in south London. The 454 square meters (4,886 square foot) centre is part the Maggie’s visionary mission to bring world-class architecture and interior design to cancer support in the UK.

The core concept of the design is to create an intimate and warm space that invites visitors in with its unique visual identity. The centre contrasts with its hospital surroundings, drawing visitors in with an approachable and welcoming timber form. The exterior’s curves evoke a calm and peaceful interior space that offers visitors an inviting, private, and light-filled environment. 

Clad in weathered timber panels that expand outward as the building rises. Double and triple-height glazing at the entry cut across the form ushering in light to the interiors. An elevated garden on the roof level creates a serene and private enclosure for visitors.  Operable skylights flood the core stairs and central circulation area with light and allow for fresh air circulation.

Spaces flow freely from one program area to the next, enabling moments of quiet and repose and engendering dialogue and socialization with others.  Both form and materiality embody a nurturing quality—one that provides a sense of calm and relief as visitors cross its threshold.  A variety of spaces have been designed, some to enable moments of quiet and repose when needed in more private spaces such as the library and other spaces purposefully encourage talking and socialization like the kitchen. The ground floor forms the heart of the centre including the kitchen, library, and staff workspaces. Studio Libeskind worked in collaboration with Magma Architecture (Berlin) to realize the centre.

The building opened on January 31, 2024.