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Maggie’s Cardiff

Shortlist 2019

Maggie’s Cardiff

Location: Cardiff
Architect: Dow Jones Architects
Structural engineer: Momentum
Main contractor: Knox & Wells Ltd
Joinery: Dilwyn Lear Ltd
Wood supplier: Lathams, Holbrook Design
Wood species: Austrian and American Douglas fir, structural softwood

Maggie’s provides free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends. Maggie’s Cardiff takes you on a journey from the bleakness of the carpark, through an intimate courtyard garden, into a range of calm and contemplative spaces which focus on a stand of trees and a new landscape garden. The building’s form and materiality reflect the surrounding topography and provide a range of uplifting spaces that have a strong relationship to nature. The building’s silhouette echoes the shapes of the local mountains, while the rusty, wrinkly steel cladding is the colour of the bracken that adorns the hills. The building is an entirely timber structure. The interior spaces are formed between Douglas fir lined walls which have a warmth and softness, and contrast with the sleek polished concrete floor. At the heart of the building is the cwtch, a tall and intimate roof-lit space, inspired by the simnau fawr (big chimneys) of vernacular welsh architecture.