AEW continues work with Ronald McDonald House

Manchester architecture practice AEW has submitted planning applications on behalf of Ronald McDonald House Charities for two new schemes in Nottingham and Cardiff. AEW has a long association with the charity and has previously designed houses for families in Manchester, completed in 2012, and Birmingham in 2009. A new AEW-designed house is also currently under construction in Southampton.

The Cardiff scheme, located at University Hospital Wales, involves refurbishment of an existing facility into a 24-bedroom House, all with en-suite bathrooms, plus kitchens, lounges, play areas and laundry facilities. Cardiff City Council is due to give its decision later this month.

The second application is for a new-build, 59-bedroom house in Nottingham, adjacent to the Queens Medical Centre. Working with charity and the hospital, AEW has taken a design approach which considers the sensitive and residential context of the building.

Having used a high quality coloured cladding system at Manchester and Birmingham, the Nottingham project utilises more traditional materials such as red brick, with green glazed bricks to create feature panels on the front elevations.The continuation of the use of green relays back to the association with nature and its calming psychological properties, which is key to buildings users and the overall brand. Nottingham City Council is due to make its decision in March.

Steve Burne, AEW managing director, said:

“Ronald McDonald House Charities provides an essential service to families in the most difficult circumstances and these two proposals offer an opportunity to expand that support. Although there are similarities between the facilities, each has its own design relevant to its surroundings.

“We have a long association with Ronald McDonald House Charities and, with two new projects in for planning and our Southampton scheme currently under construction, this is a very exciting milestone in the expansion of its services.”

Anne Ward, head of UK operations and development for Ronald McDonald House Charities added:

“The charity has an excellent partnership with AEW, having worked with the practice for a number of years. As our retained architects throughout the UK, the team’s understanding of the often-complicated brief that we supply continually impresses us.

“We know that having a sick child affects the whole family and Ronald McDonald Houses ensure there is a place for families to stay together, near their child so they can be with them at a moment’s notice. We offer support and a safe environment where families can share their experiences with others in similar situations. Thanks to our supporters, we were able to help 7,000 families in 2013. We have ambitious plans to expand our service to more hospitals throughout the UK, but we need to raise the necessary funds to make this a reality.”

Ronald McDonald House Charities is an independent charity which provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation at hospitals across the UK. It enables seriously ill children to have their families close by when they are undergoing treatment, and help families retain a sense of normal life, at what can be a very stressful time.

AEW is a 50-strong practice based at Spring Gardens in Manchester city centre which provides planning, architectural, exterior and interior design services for a broad spectrum of clients across various sectors, including industrial and logistics, retail and hotel, sport and leisure, commercial office and masterplanning.