Ronald McDonald House, Oxford

Ronald McDonald House, Oxford Ronald McDonald House, Oxford

A Ronald McDonald House provides free ‘home away from home’ accommodation for families with children in hospital, offering comfort and support where families can be close by during treatment.

CW Studio have created a friendly, safe and attractive outside environment for the House, including places for children to play and places to be quiet and calm. The concept was inspired by a beach theme to create a place for imagination and creative play.

A series of parallel lines reflect the timber sand barriers (groynes) found on beaches. These give structure and rhythm to the landscape, and vary from timber slatted seating walls and lines of vertical poles, to green paving bands with shells in the surface. The lines create a series of linear spaces giving the gardens structure and a unified rhythm. Each space provides different flexible functions suiting different ages and needs of the people using the house.

A linear exploratory zone leads from the kids play through tree and shrub planting, past a timber play boat, through colourful poles to a throne with an underwater sea world theme and seating circle. Beach huts with varying uses create a visually interesting buffer to the car park. Raised planting beds with chunky timber seating offer a place to grow herbs and soft fruits while creating a buffer for the ground floor.

The triangular public space focuses on the mature pin oak trees, where a circular timber feature seat wraps around one the tree trunks. The backdrop planting along the boundary includes shrubs with native and wildlife value, while wedges of bulb planting enliven the grass along the path in spring.


Planning permission was granted in July 2016.

Architects: AEW Architects

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