The Ronald McDonald House in Tübingen.

Ronald McDonald House in Tübingen

Hansgrohe SE kits out 30 family apartments next to the University Hospital with its products.

Since November 2011, the Ronald McDonald House in Tübingen has been accommodating the parents and siblings of seriously ill children. The University Children's Hospital is just two minutes away from the “parents' house”. So, thanks to McDonald's Children's Aid, parents can stay right next door to their children around the clock.

Planning the 17th Ronald McDonald House in Germany was entrusted to the Hamburg-based BRT architectural office. Star architect Hadi Teherani supplied the design – and implemented it with his partners Jens Bothe and Kai Richter. The four-storey house is set in the greenery of Tübingen's Schnarrenberg. Large windows define the profile of the hillside building. It is divided into a basement, a “glass” ground floor that is set back on all sides, and two pillar-mounted apartment levels. It is topped off by a bow-shaped stacked storey in the central axis of the building.

For the parents, the house is a retreat. This was precisely the architectural approach intended by Teherani: to create a home that is flooded with light, and which, “just like an ocean liner, provides safety and assurance, even when the seas are rough.”

A home away from home

“The feedback we are getting about the house is positive without exception,” reports Doris Jones, manager of the Tübingen building. The parents' house has been fully occupied since January 2012. The neighbouring University Hospital has an excellent reputation in many specialist medical fields. So there are waiting lists for families, who travel from all over the world. The Tübingen children's aid team cares for around 600 families of up to four people every year.

Even the bathrooms in the 30 family apartments, which have all been kitted out by Hansgrohe SE, add to the feeling of security. The Black Forest company has donated Axor and Hansgrohe bathroom and kitchen products to the Children's Aid Foundation. The design of the branded products is in keeping with the clear, minimalist style of the house and the interior furnishings.

“When you are standing under the warm rainshower, it is as though your worries from the hospital are washed away for a few minutes.” (A mother)

“Many of our families see the bathrooms as a blessing”, says the house manager. “The bathroom products help the parents to experience a moment of peace and normality at least once a day. No matter how many hours the parents have spent keeping vigil at their child's bedside, they are always really glad to be able to come here and take a shower.”

Two of the 30 bathrooms are accessible to people with disabilities and are designed specifically for the needs of disabled parents and siblings. The mixers have been concealed, for example, which creates more room – including for the young patients themselves. As soon as they are strong enough to leave the hospital, they can spend a few hours surrounded by their family in the Ronald McDonald House.

Location:         Tübingen, Germany
Architects:        BRT Architects – Bothe Richter Teherani
Products:         Axor Uno² basin mixers 
                           Hansgrohe Raindance Showerpipes 
                           Axor Uno sink unit mixers 
Photos:             © Anne Faden/Hansgrohe SE

The architect of the Ronald McDonald House in Tübingen, Hadi Teherani (right), with Holger Binder, Hansgrohe.

The architect of the Ronald McDonald House, Hadi Teherani (right), with Holger Binder, Hansgrohe.

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