Photographer: John Pettit [original building] , Simon Devitt [extension]
Ronald McDonald House is a home away from home for families of children with life threatening conditions who are receiving treatment at Auckland Hospital.
We were commissioned to deliver from concept design through to the provision of construction management services and, subsequently, to complete two major extensions to the house.
The project was sponsored by Ronald McDonald House Charities, which believes that keeping families together in times of crisis helps children heal. International experience shows that families in these difficult situations get the greatest support from each other when using such facilities.
So the design of the house was developed to encourage families to socialise and form support structures for each other. It was important it had a welcoming family feel rather than the predominantly cold and institutional feel from other nearby buildings.
The expansion doubled the house's original size, accommodating 22 extra rooms, playroom facilities, a learning centre, a dining area and lounge and a large communal kitchen.
The kitchen is the most effective environment in which people from vastly different backgrounds can come together. By cooking and eating together, friendships have developed among people who have endured the most adverse circumstances.
Our design takes advantage of the site's picturesque views across Grafton Gully and the Hauraki Gulf. It also reflects the dynamic roof forms of the existing building, designed by ASC Architects 10 years previously.