Zaha’s praise for Maggie’s Fife on Desert Island Discs

Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid has spoken of her design of Maggie’s Fife’s unique cancer care centre as part of her appearance on Desert Island Discs.

The renowned architect was Kirsty Young’s guest on Radio 4’s famous show in which a guest chooses eight recordings, a book and a luxury item that they would take if they were to be cast away - intertwined with a discussion on their lives and the reasons for their choices.

Dame Zaha spoke of her career in architecture which has seen her take commissions around the globe, resulting in many honours including becoming the first woman to win architecture’s highest honour, the Pritzker Prize, and the first woman to receive the RIBA gold medal.

Her design for Maggie’s Fife in 2006 was her first in the UK to result in a permanent building.

She has since gone on to design Glasgow’s fantastic Riverside Museum - home of the city’s transport museum - and the aquatic centre for the 2012 London Olympics.

Other work has included the design of an opera house in China, a contemporary arts centre in Cincinnati, and a car manufacturing plant in Leipzig.

Dame Zaha’s design for Maggie’s Fife came after she had won the competition to create an opera house in Cardiff, only for it to never come to fruition.

Her aim was a centre which swarmed with light, the white interior contrasting with the sparkling black walls which rise up as you walk along the entrance path.

And she spoke fondly of the centre in her discussion with the show’s host.

‘’It’s a great programme at Maggie’s Centres,’’ she said. ‘’They try to create a home for when people come from hospital, where they can read, rest, or chat with counsellors.’’

Of Maggie’s location in the grounds of Victoria Hospital, she said: ‘’There was a hollow and a car park and it was completely overgrown - like a garden.

‘’It was like a landscape or an art installation.

‘’You can see that green and the flowers - it really is fabulous.’’

You can hear Dame Zaha on desert Island Discs online at BBC>>