Macmillan Cancer Centre opens in Harrogate

Designed on 'pebbles', new £9m centre sets standard for cancer care

The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre

The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Harrogate has officially opened.

Designed by IBI Group, the gracefully-curved building is planned around a conceptual form of two linked ‘pebbles’. These not only respond to the shape of the site, but also engender a non-institutional character, helping to guide patients through the various stages of treatment.

John Knape, architect and frameworks director at IBI Group, said: “The design focuses on meeting the personal, physical and emotional needs of patients and their carers, ensuring that privacy and confidentiality are maintained, while assisting delivery of the highest standard of care.”

We know that good physical environments support personal wellbeing, contribute to positive treatment outcomes, and enable caring and effective staffing

Simon Henderson, head of cancer environments at Macmillan Cancer Support, added: “At Macmillan we want to reach and improve the lives of everyone with cancer. We know that good physical environments support personal wellbeing, contribute to positive treatment outcomes, and enable caring and effective staffing. By listening to what patients and staff told us they wanted, we have turned the traditional treatment centre on its head and put their needs at the heart of this inspiring building.”

The holistic design approach has successfully integrated landscaping and art into the interior fabric of the building to create a serene retreat. At the heart of each pebble is a healing garden, spaces which provide pleasing vistas and ensure the building is filled with natural light.

On arrival, patients and families are welcomed into a comfortable reception within the first pebble, which leads into the consulting, examination, therapies and information facilities. Visitors can also call in to pick up a leaflet, receive one-to-one advice, or attend regular wellbeing sessions.

A generously-glazed informal seating space forms the link to the second pebble, housing the more private treatment facility: a large, flexible clinical space that can be sub-divided to suit differing care needs. Spacious and calming, every aspect of the building has been designed to instil reassurance, respect and dignity.

The design complies with the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark, incorporating spaces of the highest clinical standard, and includes many sustainable features. It is set to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

The £9m project, which included the construction of a single-storey car park as an enabling scheme, was commissioned by Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and substantially funded by Sir Robert Ogden and Macmillan Cancer Support.

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