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Edinburgh charity plan lochside cancer retreat

July 17 2014

Edinburgh charity plan lochside cancer retreat
Edinburgh based cancer charity It’s Good 2 Give is pressing ahead with proposals for a rural retreat at Loch Venachar, after securing planning permission from Loch L:omond and Trossachs National Park.

Ripple Retreat has been designed by Kettle Collective to provide space for teenage cancer sufferers and their families.
Inspired by the reflective qualities of its lochside setting the three bedroom home is defined by a feature wave form roof which dips and rolls in tandem with the rugged terrain.

Crafted from zinc, glass and oak the property lies within 10 minutes’ drive of the picturesque town of Callander on the eastern edge of the national park and comes complete with its own pier and fishing rights.

Charity head Lynne McNicoll wrote on her blog: “Tony and his wonderful architect, Chris Barr, are a joy to work with and incredibly generous too – getting us to this stage has cost us only the National Park fee for the planning application.  These are very busy architects and we know that and appreciate almost beyond words what they have done for us.  Today Tony gave me the little model of the Retreat and it now sits proudly on my desk.”

The charity is close to raising the £650k build cost for the build and is currently seeking donations to cover eventual running costs.


#1 Posted by Cadmonkeys on 20 Jul 2014 at 10:23 AM
I can barely imagine a more expensive approach. Should this charity not be pursuing a more modest building?
Art Vandelay
#2 Posted by Art Vandelay on 22 Jul 2014 at 15:30 PM
OK, I'll ask the obvious question - why should they? Aspiration is a wonderful thing.
#3 Posted by CADMonkey on 28 Jul 2014 at 12:27 PM
I think most people who donate money to charity expect the funds to be going more directly to care, rather than making architectural statements. As a further example, I'm aware that Maggies Glasgow has an incredible expensive 500kg sliding glass door. Not sure how many (small) donors know of this kind of wilful spending (I almost said wasting) of funds is taking place. There is no need for it.
Art Vandelay
#4 Posted by Art Vandelay on 28 Jul 2014 at 13:43 PM
And you don't think that the wider scope that an increased budget would allow could contribute to improved experiences for the user, over and above the quality of care? Isn't that pretty critical to a building of this type (embodied by the Maggies approach etc)?
#5 Posted by CADMonkey on 28 Jul 2014 at 14:45 PM
I'm not sure that siting on an expensive cantilevered "look no hands" balcony getting eaten alive by midges is critical to this buildings success, no.

And whilst I'm on...I think Maggie's Dundee has got a titanium roof???What's all that about?
Art Vandelay
#6 Posted by Art Vandelay on 28 Jul 2014 at 20:36 PM
A very specific example, and a bit what-abootery to be honest. Surely the role of these buildings - and I'm talking about these extra care/respite type facilities - is to provide a little bit more than a room to get treated in, it's about providing spaces that can lift and inspire too. There's no question that having a huge budget doesn't automatically result in a successful building, and there's a lot to be said for working miracles on a small budget, but I don't think it's quite the outrage you seen to think it is.
#7 Posted by Bilbo on 29 Jul 2014 at 06:57 AM
Lets be honest. If you let the client blow their budget on silly things that might actually help patients this will impact on making the building look flash. This in turn will reduce the chances of you winning a nice shiney award from your architectural chums, which is what its all about after all. (look at every architectural web site and they all describe themselves as "Award Winning".......its the most important thing after all)
Been there & got the t-shirt
#8 Posted by Been there & got the t-shirt on 29 Jul 2014 at 21:31 PM
Having been treated for cancer at a tender age I can say honestly that it's wonderful to have the chance to be in a 'special' place, to experience something beyond the basic souless rooms that are the majority of the NHS and be somewhere you may otherwise choose to be just for the joy of it. Moments of joy feel so far away it's lovely to escape the mundane if only for a bit. People in treatment can't always travel, even if they could afford it, so places like this are important, and it's important that they are designed without matronly safety measures (please don't put a chunky balustrade blocking the view) so you can have visceral pleasures like dangling your feet in the water when you can't summon the energy to stretch far from the house. I hope the curved wall will be a place to loll in the shade or be outside in the rain, sheltered but soaking in the view. if we can't be ambitious for youngsters facing such arduous treatment and an uncertain future, if we can't find justification for instilling some love and joy in the projects for them, then what use are we?
David Wilson
#9 Posted by David Wilson on 30 Jul 2014 at 12:03 PM
post 3:

'I think most people who donate money to charity expect the funds to be going more directly to care, rather than making architectural statements.'

I donate to this charity and this retreat is one of the main goals and has been from the start. The charity also helps 'support' (not 'care'' which could easily be confused with 'treatment') cancer sufferers and their families. I'm more than happy that my money is going towards a building that will hopefully prove to be an inspiration to young people.

The goals of the charity are clear. From their website:

'We may be tiny but we have huge ambitions! In the long term, our aim is to raise £1 million to fund the build of a purpose-built respite house for young people and their families affected by cancer. This will allow families to use it for a short break together – a purpose-built, restful, safe place.'

Your post insinuating a misuse of funds is awful.
#10 Posted by CADMonkey on 31 Jul 2014 at 15:19 PM
Buildings of this type are very important. Given the need to fund raise I do however question if it is an appropriate building type for extravagant architectural expression and the associated extra costs that inevitably go with it.

I thought "support" and "care" were the same thing. I meant "treatment" I would have would have said "treatment".
Art Vandelay
#11 Posted by Art Vandelay on 1 Aug 2014 at 10:12 AM
But if the 'extravagant architectural expression' leads to the creation of spaces that improve the support/care element (in the manner noted by poster #8) as opposed to the 'treatment' aspect, then surely that's only going to be of benefit?

Tell me, what would you consider to be an appropriate response to a brief of this type?
#12 Posted by Cadmonkey on 2 Aug 2014 at 09:02 AM
How many charity 3 bedroom houses (not treatment) do you know that have a construction cost of £650k? (I'm assuming site acquisition and fees make up the £350k balance to £1m). I'd probably approach the project by radically suggesting that the client aim to build 2 maybe 3 of these facilities for that sum and recommend they set up an architectural competition (free entry and paid prizes) for the delivery of the brief to a budget. I am sure they would be inundated with surprises.

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