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Maggies Centre

Part 1 Project 2006
Mark Adler
Birmingham City University, UK
My starting point for the project was an exploratory site investigation that revealed nature’s encroachment into the decaying urban fabric of the Winson Green area of Birmingham, putting it under pressure and producing an architecture permeated by the unpredictability of ‘laissez-faire’. My research into ‘transactionalism”, where the person and the physical environment are integral aspects of a unitary system of change, informed my approach. I started carving forms into concrete blocks, representing this natural growth.
The Maggies Centre is carved or ‘excavated’ out of a simple urban block. The block retains a generic identity whilst accommodating the programme and a gradual reintegration with nature.

Mark Adler

Mark approached the final year of his BA as an integrated body of work – encompassing testing physical processes, reading and writing, excavating models, constructing drawings, detailed observations of material weathering. His method is intuitive and organic. Reversing the process of the stacked constructed ‘archi-scapes’ of New York’s Downtown Athletic Club, he sculpted the Maggies Centre programme out of a ready-made block, following nature’s encroachment on the urban fabric. The drawing process started as a rigorous archaeological survey of the ruins and became the basis for reconstructing the programme through which he developed his own architectural language.

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