skip to content | Accessibility Information


As a group we have decided to collaborate with Ronald McDonald House Charity that provides free 'home away from home' accommodation to families with children in hospital. Our event proposes to aid in the conceptual re-design of the RMH Manchester terrace, turning it into a garden of reflection for the residents. You will not only have the chance to work on a live design project but also the opportunity to help an extremely worthwhile cause. Please see our poster for more event information. // Download Poster

Kate S // Emily F // Chloe C // Georgina C // Shu G

The aim of this event is to aid in the conceptual re-design of the Ronald McDonald House Charity roof terrace at Manchester, turning it into a garden of reflection for the residents within the charity house. The designs of the terrace area should be guided and shaped by these 5 main principles:

1. Design for different activities of different energy levels
The activities and programmes of the terrace should be taken into consideration before subdividing the space into different spatial zones. The terrace design should aim to create a peaceful environment for the residents to reflect upon themselves and relief mental frustrations.

2. Create sense of space
The design should be able to create a sense of space and belonging for the residents within the Ronald McDonald House Charity. It should have a strong sense of place that speaks to the culture, location, and “spirit” of community.

3. Allow creativity and surprises to occur
The space designed should not be too generic but able to provide a sense of discovery. This will help in creating a complete narrative and a well rounded experience for the users of the space.

4. Consider the 'flow' of space
Resident movements and spatial compositions through the site should be taken into consideration to be able to come out with a proposal that allows different paths of exploration.

5. Work with site and nature
Paths, edges, boundaries and surrounding of the site should be analysed before the designing process. This will help to ensure the proposal to have a coherent language and continuous flow with the existing outdoor terrace and Ronald McDonald House Charity.
Posted 17 Feb 2019 16:35
Today the group attended our first site meeting at the Ronald McDonald House to discuss the initial ideas for our project with the House Manager. We were informed on the type of work the Charities do worldwide and the impact they have on families.

Initially, we spoke with Mike Fairley in the Day Room of the house, allowing us to talk him through our idea following on from emails in more detail and gave us the opportunity to ask him any questions. We then talked logistics, discussing the branding and how our event can actually help promote the charity. We originally thought about asking the families in the house about what they might like to see in the terrace, however, he gave us the idea to do a questionnaire he could put under families doors, which seemed like a much less intrusive way of communicating.

We then went out to the proposed site on the terrace, taking photos and identifying initial constraints and issues, such as the busy road alongside the site, the entrances on to the terrace. We realised the terrace was much larger than we first thought, providing an optimum sized terrace for small scale outdoor pavilion design.
Posted 16 Feb 2019 18:23
The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital provides specialist healthcare services for children and young people throughout the North West, as well as nationally and internationally. The hospital tends to over 140,000 patients each year across a range of specialities including oncology, haematology, bone marrow transplant, burns and orthopaedics.

The Hospital is the largest and busiest children’s hospital in the UK with 371 paediatric beds. A further 60 neonatal cots also operate, within the same building, in the tertiary neonatal unit of Saint Mary’s Hospital. This enables the staff of the two hospitals to deliver completely joined up services for families, from prenatal care through birth and beyond.

The specialist equipment that is provided at the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital results in families from all across the UK, and in some situations even internationally, to travel to it. This highlights the importance of the Ronald McDonald House Charities providing free accomodation to families who are so far away from their own homes.
Posted 16 Feb 2019 18:19
One of our two collaborators is AEW Architects. AEW are a team of 60 based in Manchester. They specialise in many different fields of architecture, including accommodation, industrial, office, retail and sport and leisure.

AEW will be providing expertise knowledge on architectural design for hospital accommodation, having been the retained architects for Ronald McDonald House Charities for the past 14 years.

Understanding the stress in which the families are under whilst staying at the houses, they aim to create spaces which allow families to retain a sense of normality.

On the design of Ronald McDonald House Manchester, they said, “Our local House is located on a key gateway corner adjacent to the entrance to the new Children's Hospital. Recesses, projections and canopies define the street edges, principal elevation and articulate the corner of Hathersage Road towards the hospital entrance.

The 60 bedroom House reflects RMHC's high architectural ambition and importance of the site. Continuing brand development, the psychology of colour is explored in the facade. Green to provide harmony, peace and reassurance and grey to provide neutrality and a link with the new hospital building.”

During our first events week, Alex and Emma will provide feedback to our initial concept sketches in a design workshop.

To see more of AEW’s projects, visit their website here:
Posted 14 Feb 2019 15:50
The session plan outlines the activities prepared for Week Two. Following on from concept design, this week will be focused on presentation. Students will produce presentation quality models within their groups using the workshop and studio space, making use of the facilities the university has to offer. Towards the end of the week, models will be finalised and an A2 poster will be put together showcasing the work produced from the previous week. The final day of Events will consist of an exhibition at the Ronald McDonald House, with each group presenting their poster and model to architects from AEW Architects and the staff involved at the House. Throughout these two weeks, students will have learnt skills in design, analysis, communication and presentation, setting them up with a wide range of skill set for future projects.
Posted 13 Feb 2019 13:21
The session plan outlines the scheduled activities students will be participating in throughout the 2 weeks. Week One students will be introduced to the brief and attend a site meeting and tour of the Ronald McDonald House and terrace. As an entire group, we will run through site analysis, diagramming site features and constraints. Students will start to develop concept ideas, using sketches, diagrams and paper and card sketch models to produce initial designs. A meeting with members from AEW architects will give students an opportunity to get feedback on their concept designs in order to develop their proposals further. Emphasis this week will be on developing new skills through sketching and visual representation.
Posted 13 Feb 2019 12:16
Group site visit to the Ronald McDonald House - observing its location and close relationship to the Children's hospital.

The House is directly opposite The Royal Manchester Children's Hospital in central Manchester, enabling families to continue their lives with some degree of normality, knowing they are just moments from their child's bedside. This quick visit showed us the importance of the Ronald McDonald House Charities and all of the great work they are doing.
Posted 13 Feb 2019 12:15
Ronald McDonald House Charities has been providing accommodation and support to families in the UK for over 25 years. They are the leading provider of free family accommodation to NHS hospitals.

Ronald McDonald House Manchester provides free accommodation to the families of the children who are receiving treatment at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and St Mary’s Neonatal Unit.

Due to the specialist treatments provided in these hospitals, families from all over the UK have to travel to Manchester for their children to receive the excellent care the hospital provides.

Designed by AEW Architects, Ronald McDonald House Manchester opened in May 2012. They provide over 60 ensuite rooms, as well as communal areas, lounges, self-catering kitchens, dining spaces, play rooms, laundry facilities and more. The staff provide support and care, creating a safe and homely environment during a difficult time.

During our first site visit, House Manager, Mike, told us how they rarely have a free room, proof of the importance of the accommodation to the families.
Posted 13 Feb 2019 11:47
The first impressions of the site show that the terrace is rarely used due to the lack of an acoustic and visual barrier between the busy main road and the peaceful outdoor terrace space.
Posted 29 Jan 2019 13:13
Meet the group: Chloe Cann
Posted 22 Jan 2019 22:47
Meet the group: Christine Guan
Posted 22 Jan 2019 19:28
Meet the group: Emily Fettes
Posted 22 Jan 2019 18:54
Meet the group: Georgina Cormode
Posted 22 Jan 2019 18:40
Meet the group: Kate Silvester
Posted 22 Jan 2019 18:38
As a group we have decided to collaborate with Ronald McDonald House Charity that provides free 'home away from home' accommodation to families with children in hospital.

Our event proposes to aid in the conceptual re-design of the RMH Manchester terrace, turning it into a garden of reflection for the residents. You will not only have the chance to work on a live design project but also the opportunity to help an extremely worthwhile cause.

Please see our poster for more event information
Posted 9 Jan 2019 11:31