Reinventing the hospital experience

La Parenthèse Ronald McDonald offers French families a home away from home





La Parenthèse Ronald McDonald

Part of a global network of Ronald McDonald House charities, La Fondation Ronald McDonald was established in France in 1994 to provide comfort and care to sick children and their families. Since more and more young patients today are hospitalized for brief, rather than long-term periods, La Fondation Ronald McDonald asked Interbrand to create a new space that would accommodate children and families with reduced hospital stays. While Ronald McDonald Houses (or Maisons Ronald McDonald, as they are called in France) provide a low or no-cost “home-away-from-home” for families so they can stay close by their hospitalized child, a new solution was needed that would allow families to rest and stay connected right inside the hospital.

With an objective to better address the immediate needs of families who might not require an overnight stay, Interbrand developed the concept of a “bracketed” space within (rather than outside) the hospital: Les Parenthèses Ronald McDonald. Offering a place to rest and regroup at the very heart of the hospital, each Parenthèse offers a home-like setting where patients’ families can enjoy a peaceful atmosphere, play games, access the Internet, and even prepare food in a kitchenette.

To further enhance this home-like feeling, Interbrand gave careful consideration to the atmosphere. Playful signage adds a friendly, welcoming touch and all furniture and materials were thoughtfully selected to create a sense of comfort and well-being. While designed for a practical purpose, the Parenthèse has a strong symbolic meaning, as it is built around the concept of solidarity. With a design concept that is more reminiscent of a home than a hospital, the Parenthèse combines comfortable seating areas, intimate gathering spots, and quiet corners.

Fondation Ronald McDonald

In June 2013, the first Parenthèse Ronald McDonald opened in Arras Hospital, located in the Nord Pas de Calais region of France. Nestled within the pediatric unit, this cozy, serviceable new structure has been embraced by visiting families, making their stays as pleasant as possible.