feature Nov 2017

Maggie’s Centre, Oldham, on the Lux Lighting Awards shortlist

Some more fantastic news for our London lighting team: the Maggie’s Centre in Oldham is shortlisted for a Lux Award.

The centre was built as a refuge for the Royal Oldham Hospital’s cancer patients, a carful choice of materials and lighting creates a sense of calm and homely sensation. The building appears to float effortlessly above a tranquil garden; a central glazed void in the midst of the open plan layout brings light and trees into the heart of the building.

The desire to create calm and welcoming spaces shaped our lighting philosophy. Many cancer patients are sensitive to direct light and the colour of reflected light needs to be carefully considered in order to avoid making patient’s skin look unnecessarily unhealthy. For this reason, concealed, warm light sources were used throughout. This approach complements the tulipwood finishes and, when combined with decorative elements, creates a striking yet homely atmosphere far from what may usually be expected in a healthcare facility.

Up-lights embedded within the landscape illuminate the central tree after dark. Low level spotlights, discretely placed throughout the gardens, graze light across the gravelled pathways to create a textured yet tranquil ambiance. A reflection of the softly illuminated landscape can be seen in the lacquered underside of the building floating above. Despite its domestic appearance, the Maggie’s Centre benefits from a sophisticated lighting control system using sensors to ensure maximum flexibility and minimum energy usage. Local scene setting has been provided in each of the spaces – most importantly in the consultation rooms to allow for adjustment of the lighting to suit the occupants needs. This is a highly efficient scheme consuming only 6 W/m² installed LPD.

Emphasis has been put on creating a soft and nurturing atmosphere rather than slavishly designing to meet illumination levels. The unity between materials and carefully considered lighting is what makes this building breath this atmosphere.

The Guardian said: “This, the 21st of the cancer centres begun by Maggie Keswick-Jencks, stays true to the group’s founding mission to create spaces of calm and light to help support patients and their families.”