Richard Rogers Wins Stirling Prize for Maggie’s Centre

November 10, 2009

By David Sokol

It’s unlikely that Prince Charles heads the Richard Rogers fan club, but Lord Rogers recently received validation from another luminary when the Royal Institute of British Architects named the Rogers Stirk Harbour–designed Maggie’s Centre the winner of its RIBA Stirling Prize 2009.

The annual honor, announced on October 17, is the 14th that the United Kingdom’s professional organization for architects has bestowed upon a built work, and the second for Rogers Stirk Harbour. The London-based practice—whose Chelsea Barracks scheme was recently scrapped due to opposition from the prince—won the Stirling Prize 2006 for its design of Barajas Airport outside Madrid.

Rogers Stirk Harbour–designed Maggie’s Centre in west London
Rogers Stirk Harbour–designed Maggie’s Centre in west London
Photo © Richard Bryant; Image courtesy Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners
The winner of the 2009 Stirling Prize is the Rogers Stirk Harbour–designed Maggie’s Centre in west London.
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Located at Charing Cross Hospital in west London, Maggie’s Centre is one of a series of buildings—by Zaha Hadid, Wilkinson Eyre, and other prominent architects—commissioned by the architectural theorist and designer Charles Jencks in honor of his deceased wife Maggie Keswick Jencks. Cancer patients are welcome to use these open-plan facilities to seek benefits information, counseling, and other support services.

Rogers Stirk Harbour’s design is posited as a non-institutional counterpoint to Charing Cross Hospital’s main facility. An orange partition envelops the two-story, 4,000-square-foot structure and a bold roof canopy punctuated by unglazed skylights appears to hover above it. A double-height kitchen marks the center of the glass-skinned building situated within the orange perimeter. Lounge areas, a library, and other rooms surround this kitchen, and partly sheltered, landscaped courtyards occupy the space between the interior building and the colorful outer wall.

Since its inception, the Sitrling Prize has rarely favored a building type, yet Maggie’s Centre represents the first Stirling Prize to go to a health care building. The project “addresses the charity’s ethos and ambitions,” says Ivan Harbour, project director at Rogers Stirk Harbour. He hopes, too, that the recognition impacts future standards of healthcare design.  

Other Winners

Winners of the RIBA Special Awards also were announced at the October 17 ceremony. They include:

Gap House, by Pitman Tozer won the Manser Medal for best residence.

The private house El Ray, by Simon Conder Associates, won the Stephen Lawrence Prize for the best example of a building with a construction budget of less than £1 million.

Castleford Bridge by McDowell and Benedetti won the RIBA CABE Public Space Award.

The Midland Hotel in Morecambe won The Crown Estate Conservation Award.

Minster School by Penoyre & Prasad won the RIBA Sorrell Foundation Schools Award.

RIBA Client of the Year 2009 award was presented to all six entries shortlisted for the Stirling Prize. In addition to Maggie’s Centre, those finalists included 5 Aldermanbury Square, Bodegas Protos, Fuglsang Kunstmuseum, Kentish Town Health Centre, and One Masterplan.

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