Building Futures

RONALD MCDONALD HOUSE, GLASGOW

The Ronald McDonald House Charity building is located on the campus of the Southern General Hospital in Govan, Glasgow, and is a bespoke facility designed to allow the charity to offer an enhanced, dedicated service to families with sick children.

Formerly based at the Yorkhill Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House was pragmatic about what was required for the new building, requiring an enhanced living experience with the calming familiarity of the former building. CCG, working with architects Keppie Design, worked closely to conceive a much larger building with a methodical approach to spatial design that offered more bedrooms, more facilities and (a new feature for the Charity) outdoor visual and amenity space.

Govan is renowned for its historical manufacturing presence. The area, having once been a fundamental contributor to the UK shipbuilding industry, continues to offer longstanding heritage to the city of Glasgow. CCG sought to create a building that sat within this historical context whilst addressing the sensitivities of the end-user. The result is a series of vernacular white brick forms, interconnected by green-roofed, white concrete porticos, in turn creating an industrial silhouette. The plan forms a series of semi-enclosed courtyards that allow residents to enjoy visual and physical amenity space without feeling the effects of the busy main road. These enclosures, in conjunction with the materiality of the brick, bring domesticity and human scale to the scheme whilst offering an urban oasis of vibrant trees, shrubs, and plants that contrast with the otherwise institutional context of the hospital campus.

Dark, projecting windows dramatically cantilever out from the contrasting white brick forms, defining internal opportunities whilst externally, shadows are accentuated to create a dynamic appearance depending on the direction of sunlight.

The internal environment has been designed with the human ergonomics in mind, especially in the bedroom & kitchen areas where window pods offer a desirable small space to read, relax or reflect. A library and children’s play area also offer youngsters to socialise within a comfortable, controlled environment.

A mix of timber frame and steel frame was used for the construction with the CCG OSM ‘iQ’ Timber System being utilised for the main structure of the building. To compensate for the more complicated elements such as the vernacular roof design, a hybrid system of steel and timber was used with a steel frame skeleton, shaping the spaces, with timber cassette panels inhabiting the frame between. Whilst this installation process was predominantly site-based, the roof cassettes used were also manufactured by CCG OSM and contributed to the overall off-site delivery of the project.

The panelised system brought benefits at site level including ease of erection (a key point when considering the size limitations of the site). Also, as the windows had to be installed on site, the level of precision provided by the use of the paneliesed system allowed for a smooth installation to bring the building to a wind and watertight status far quicker than that of a traditional build. Ultimately the use of the ‘iQ’ System ensured that the project was delivered 1 month before the contractual programme date.

The advance in the construction programme ensured that Ronald McDonald House could gear up to enter the home earlier thus, when opening the home in September 2015, it was immediately ready to accept families and their children.

Contract Value:
£4 million

Awards:
GIA Residential Award 2015

Judge’s Merit Scottish Property Award 2016

Civic Trust Award 2016

Special Civic Trust Award for Scotland 2016

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