Ronald McDonald House Atlantic, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

A new 43,398-square-foot Ronald McDonald House Atlantic (RMHA) is planned to open at the IWK Health Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to meet growing demand for services for patients and families receiving care at the pediatric hospital and trauma center.

In the past, RMHA had to turn away families who needed help. The new replacement project will be larger to enable the charity to serve an additional 600 families per year.

Supportive services for IWK Health Centre patients

The new Ronald McDonald House will increase the number of family rooms from 18 to 36. Additionally, it will introduce four larger suites, which include two-bedroom apartments with a kitchen space for families with long-term stays or immunocompromised children.

A communal kitchen and dining area, outdoor eating and play area, and common areas for socializing will also be provided.

Patients can also utilize a “cape room” where kids, upon arrival, can gain superpowers to battle their illness, as well as a “magic room” where they can celebrate the completion of their stay.

Exterior and interior design details

The courtyard building will be modeled after university college residences that features a quadrangle. The courtyard will create an outdoor sanctuary from the surrounding city and hospital.

A vibrant red tile wall, reminiscent of the red door at RMHA’s original house, will offer a sense of warmth to the entrance.

The ground floor will feature administrative and common spaces, such as activity rooms, a parlor, play areas, lounge space, and a shared kitchen and dining room, which will be configured around the courtyard.

A terrace with play equipment will feed into and off the activity rooms and wrap around the building to meet the kitchen.

Resident floors will be stacked in a five-story block, and the typical resident floor will accommodate eight family bedrooms including one larger family suite, each with its own bathroom.

Designing for flexibility

Flexibility in the floorplate will allow the building to adjust and evolve as needed without undue restrictions.  The design also takes advantage of the existing site slope to create a partial basement for servicing and other suitable program spaces.

Overall, the project will be designed to replicate the spaces that families would find in their own home, such as a living room, kitchen, dining room, and backyard to support families on their care journey.

Check out other Ronald McDonald House projects here.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Atlantic project details

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Completion date: First quarter 2024

Owner: Ronald McDonald House Charities Atlantic

Total building area: 43,398 sq. ft.

Total construction cost: Confidential

Cost/sq. ft.: Confidential

Architecture firm: Montgomery Sisam Architects in association with Lydon Lynch Architects

Interior design: By & Large Studios, Sarah Bauemler

General contractor: RCS Construction

Engineering: Campbell Comeau Engineering (structural), M&R Engineering (mechanical & electrical), Able Engineering Services Inc. (civil)

Builder: RCS Construction