Our projects

Enabling Maggie’s to support cancer care at The Royal Marsden

Careful planning and meticulous collaboration allowed us to complete this design-led scheme on a busy working hospital site.

Constructed on an old hospital car park, Maggie’s Royal Marsden is a peaceful and biodiverse place for people to drop in during and after treatment for free support and care.

Maggie's centres are run by expert staff who provide a full programme of support to help people live well with cancer. Working in partnership with The Royal Marsden, a world-leading cancer centre specialising in cancer diagnosis, treatment, research, and education this Maggie’s Centre will further enhance the patient care on offer at the Sutton site.

The building was conceived to complement the excellent services of the hospital, providing a calm oasis set in a peaceful garden, somewhere to escape to and take strength from. It gained the award of European Healthcare Design Champion, as an inspirational building that positively influences future healthcare design and development.

Project summary

    • Client: Maggie Keswick Jencks Cancer Caring Centres Trust
    • Sector: Healthcare
    • Location: South East
    • Services: McAlpine Design Group, Construction Management
    • Completion date: 2020

Designing with comfort and connection in mind

Visually distinctive on purpose to create a home from home feel in contrast to the clinical purpose of the rest of the site, the development is designed to feel nothing like a hospital.

This supports Maggie’s ethos that great design and architecture can help the people who visit the centres feel better and help their expert staff to give the best possible cancer support.


Maggie's Royal Marsden Balcony

Private rooms for counselling and therapy have skylights to allow natural light in while giving the users privacy. Instead of institutional-style corridors, rooms fan out from a central, double-height kitchen space. A range of comfortable, private spaces for quiet reflection nestle just off this welcoming communal area, with a long dining table at its centre encouraging people to come together for connection and support.

Tactile materials like Douglas Fir, Birch ply and Harris Tweed, along with soft furnishings, art, and books create a relaxed, domestic environment and the balcony above maximises views and fosters a sense of community. Nothing is fixed or defined, the space and its finishes encouraging visitors to take time to drift, daydream and explore.

The dynamic garden inspires, changing dramatically with the seasons. The woodland garden includes native trees and hedges for privacy, creating a calm and contemplative atmosphere. Paths have been designed for ambling, restorative walks.

To achieve these extraordinary designs at a high quality within budget, our Sir Robert McAlpine project team provided buildability and financial advice well in advance. Our teams start by scrutinising the plans in minute detail. Transforming vision into reality, we stay true to the architect’s vision while keeping construction lean, efficient and collaborative.

Maggie's Royal Marsden Garden

Looking after the patients

During the build process, not disrupting the hospital’s day-to-day operations was a must. With exemplary communication and a friend face turned toward the public, we made sure our construction work went almost unnoticed.

It was particularly important for us to make sure that our construction traffic didn’t impede on access to the site for staff, visitors, deliveries, and emergency vehicles. We worked closely with subcontractors during the tendering process to plan out logistics and make sure they knew how important it was to keep disruption to a minimum.


Maggie's Royal Marsden Focus Group

Maggie's cancer care support centre, Royal Marsden, Sutton

Maggie's in the news

  1. Gallery to Gallery riders

    Gallery to Gallery ride raises £3k for Maggie’s

    03 May 2024

    Congratulations to all 15 riders, who have conquered the Gallery to Gallery ride. Together, they have raised an impressive £20k for six charitable causes, including £3k for our charity partner, Maggie’s.

    Read more about Gallery to Gallery ride raises £3k for Maggie’s
  2. Maggie's May is underway

    01 May 2024

    Our site and office teams across the UK are preparing for a month of fundraising during May for our charity partner, Maggie's.

    Read more about Maggie's May is underway
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