Since the mid-1990s an exciting building project has been underway, new cancer caring centres that offer a fresh approach in architecture and health. Named after Maggie Keswick and co-founded with her husband, the writer and landscape designer Charles Jencks, these centres aim to be at all the major British hospitals that treat cancer. Already six have been completed and six more are in the pipeline. Starting in Scotland, where the first were built, they have implications well beyond their modest size and origins. Complementary to the large hospital, and huge National Health Service, they present a face that is welcoming, risk-taking, aesthetic and spiritual; and with their commitment to the other arts, including landscape, they bring in the full panoply of constructive means. Basically they are a new mixed building type for healing that has several roots in the past. As Jencks and Heathcote show this hybrid quality is a response to the condition of cancer, its myriad causes and bewildering number of possible therapies. The architecture of hope is this new hybrid genre emerging with Maggie Centres, and a multiple metaphor that corresponds in kind to the many different types of cancer and their various treatments. Such caring centres, offering psychological, social and informational guidance, will inevitably grow in the future with an aging population, and cover the myriad of chronic problems such as heart disease. Because the genome project increases choice of treatment, cancer caring centres are a model for what may soon become a standard building type. The Centres have been designed by well known architects Richard Murphy, Page and Park, Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid and Richard Rogers. Further projects underway include buildings by Richard MacCormac, the late Kisho Kurokawa, Piers Gough, Foreign Office Architects, Wilkenson & Eyre and Rem Koolhaas. Almost all of these architects were close friends of the architectural critic Charles Jencks and his late wife Maggie, whose vision was the initial inspiration. This close friendship and commitment helps explain the somewhat unusual choice of designers. But the Centres are committed first to helping cancer sufferers help themselves, to inspiring carers to care more, and secondly to architecture. The allegiance of arts and building in the perennial struggle with cancer leads to the architecture of hope. As patients walk into a Centre after a diagnosis, or an enervating treatment, often disoriented and losing self-confidence, they enter another world which acknowledges their importance and operates on a basic condition that may become prevalent: living with cancer and not losing hope... дальше ».