Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners has just won the 2009 Stirling Prize, Britain’s most prestigious architectural honors, for their design of a cancer center in London. As the Times of London reports, Rogers had been a dark horse in the competition, which comes with a £20,000 prize; bookie’s had put their odds on a Danish art gallery by Tony Fretton.
The firm’s founding partner, Lord Richard Rogers, is one of the founding fathers of “high-tech” school of contemporary architecture–which basically emphasizes cutting edge engineering and building techniques. (The genre’s other patron saint is Lord Norman Foster.)
But his firm’s design for Maggie’s Center has a soft touch. The cancer center was created to ease the emotional trauma of cancer treatment, with a building that’s closer to a cozy home than a traditional cancer clinic. The idea is to cocoon patients, doctors, and nurses from the hubbub of the surrounding city, with bright, informal spaces and warm colors.
Here’s Roger’s talking about the win:
And here’s the project architect, Will Wimshurst, talking about the design:
The Maggie’s Center model has been influential–not only are some of the clinics designed by architects such as Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid, but the idea of healing design has caught on abroad–check out this clinic, which we recently covered.
[Via Arch Daily; pictures José Miguel Hernández Hernández]