Zikzak Architects reveals design for first Ronald McDonald House in Ukraine

Ukrainian studio Zikzak Architects has released its design for the first Ronald McDonald House in Ukraine, which will provide temporary housing to children receiving treatment at Kyiv’s Okhmatdyt hospital and their families.

Zikzak Architects CEO Alesia Karnaukhova says the Ronald McDonald House in Kyiv “will become a second home for families of out-of-town children undergoing treatment”.

With almost 400 similar projects worldwide, the Ronal McDonald House program offers free housing to seriously ill children, particularly those who have travelled from distant towns to receive treatment, so they can live comfortably near their hospital.

Ronald McDonald House with colourful window frames by ZikZak Architects
Zikzak Architects designed the housing for the Ronald McDonald House Charity

Set to be completed in 2025, the 3,500-square-metre building will have a reinforced-concrete frame structure, ceramic block walls, and a clinker tile and brick facade.

The project will be five storeys tall and contain 50 bedrooms with their own bathrooms, providing living arrangements for 2,600 children and their families per year.

Designed to have a homely atmosphere, the building will feature communal spaces on the ground floor and a roof terrace, providing space for children to play and families to interact.

Housing for children's hospital patients in Ukraine by ZikZak Architects
The building features rounded corners

“The layout decisions are based on creating a homely atmosphere and a friendly community for young patients, their families, staff and volunteers,” Karnaukhova told Dezeen.

“We continued the philosophy of the project: a ‘home away from home’ that brings people together, offering hope, love, and care.”

Ronald McDonald House in Ukraine by ZikZak Architects
The housing is situated near the Okhmatdyt hospital

A kitchen and dining area on the ground floor will overlook a playroom to give adults a direct view of their children while preparing meals.

Mobile partitions will surround a conference hall, which can be moved to open or close the space to the kitchen and dining area.

Brick and tile housing with rounded corners
A bomb shelter will be built underground

“The kitchen and dining area are designed as one large space, allowing the residents of the house to spend time together,” explained Karnaukhova.

“In such a special environment, children will find joy and inspiration for play, while families will enjoy warm interactions.”

As the war in Ukraine continues to devastate the country, ZikZak Architects designed an underground bomb shelter for the Ronald McDonald House in Kyiv to provide shelter and amenities for 197 people.

It will include a kitchen, food storage room, wardrobes, bathrooms, showers, and storage areas.

Brick and tile housing with colourful window frames in Kyiv
Bricks on the facade will be laid in different patterns

On the building’s exterior, clinker tiles and bricks will be laid in a variety of patterns to create a textured facade that blends in with the surrounding buildings

Colourful window frames will punctuate the exterior to add a sense of playfulness.

Ronald McDonald House by ZikZak Architects
The design is intended to have a homely atmostphere

According to Zikzak Architects, the studio added rounded corners to the housing’s rectangular design, informed by the nearby House for Military Families.

“Rounded cornices echo the forms of the adjacent House for Military Families, a cultural heritage site, giving the building soft, refined contours,” said Karnaukhova.

“The roundness of the cornices gently contrasts with the straight lines of the walls, creating a unique graphic harmony symbolising unity and tender support.”

Brick facade punctuated with colourful window frames at the Ronald McDonald House by ZikZak Architects
The project is set to be completed in 2025

Okhmatdyt is the largest children’s hospital in Ukraine. In building a Ronald McDonald House nearby, the charity hopes to keep families together and reduce stress and financial burden while children receive critical medical care.

“The Ronald McDonald House program is especially helpful to families who come for their child’s treatment from another city or village and cannot afford expensive temporary housing in Kyiv,” said the Ronald McDonald House Charity.

“Here, families can cover all their basic needs and focus on their child’s recovery – all this is just a few steps away from the hospital.”

Housing for hospital patients in Ukraine by ZikZak Architects
Zikzak Architect’s design will be the first Ronald McDonald House in Ukraine

Founded in 2014, Zikzak Architects is an architecture studio with offices in Kyiv and Limassol, Cyprus. Last year, the studio designed a modular school in Kyiv to help restore infrastructure destroyed in the Ukraine War.

Other Ronald McDonald Houses published on Dezeen include studio apartments in Hamburg designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and a series of gabled brick buildings on a hospital campus in Glasgow.

The images are by Zikzak Architects.

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