Art Celebrates a Patient's Journey through the Landscapes of Tameside: A new Macmillan Unit


Macmillan Cancer Support appointed Arts & Health consultants Willis Newson, architects IBI and landscape designers KKE Architects to totally reimagine their Tameside Unit architecturally and artistically to offer an improved experience for patients by:

  • integrating art to create a warm welcome and distinctive sense of place
  • bringing different services under one roof, minimising patient travel
  • maximising natural light
  • demonstrating Macmillan's patient-centred approach to cancer care.

Willis Newson led a creative engagement workshop at the start of the process with patients, staff, architects and landscape designers, to create a joined-up, patient-focused approach to the redevelopment. Patients in particular shared their appreciation of "walking in nature" as a healing experience, and of the beauty of local scenery.

Journeys through the Landscapes of Tameside" became the theme for the project, creating a supportive environment for patients by bringing to mind the reassuring rhythm, repetition and movement of walking. The workshop participants mapped the journey through the spaces of the new unit from the emotional view point of the patient, identifying key locations for art.

Willis Newson then commissioned artist Chris Tipping to create artworks to provide a connection with nature and the landscape. Tipping's distinctive artworks unify the different areas, creating a local, patient-centred identity and subtly supporting journeys through the space, from the airy open reception into more intimate treatment areas.

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