Ronald McDonald House BC Yukon

Location

Vancouver, BC

Size

6,800 square metres

Completion

2014

Structural Engineer

Equilibrium Consulting Inc.

General Contractor

ITC

Species

Western Red Cedar

With durable timber construction, Ronald McDonald House BC and Yukon has provided an enduring home away from home for up to 70 out-of-town families at a time whose children are receiving treatment at the B.C. Women’s and Children’s Hospitals.
  • Decidedly non-institutional in its feel, where dignity and playfulness live side by side.
  • Grand living room features an exposed-timber floor and ceiling.
  • Children descend into common spaces by way of a wooden staircase or an enclosed yellow slide.

This project set a new benchmark for robust, cost-effective, institutional-grade timber construction, as the first example in the world of a tilt-up CLT and light-wood-frame building system designed for a 100-year service life.

An advanced application of mass-timber construction, it’s composed of a hybrid cross-laminated timber (CLT) wall and high-performance light-wood floor system. Laminated strand lumber (LSL) floor ledgers support joists, decking, and a concrete topping. The panelized construction allowed for off-site prefabrication, with panels factory-cut to a precise size and fit.

Architecture with empathy: wood makes a welcoming impression

The exterior of the building, which is just steps away from the B.C. Women’s and Children’s Hospitals in central Vancouver, is designed to feel like a home and not a hotel.

It’s a fresh take on more traditional residential motifs. An iron-spot brick façade is punctuated by square-box dormers. Cedar cladding and wood window frames offer a warm contrast to the sleek, steel-grey masonry.

The facility comprises four “houses” joined together; common spaces include dining rooms, games rooms, lounges, and courtyards. It all blends seamlessly within its warm, contemporary, yet understated interior, offering moments for both quiet reflection and social connection.