For a new location near the Altona Children’s Hospital in Hamburg, Ronald McDonald House Charities called upon 11 architectural firms to design apartments for families to live in while their children receive treatment. Zaha Hadid's "Apartment 5" design is for a studio apartment with built-in wooden furniture that reminds us of cruise ship quarters.
The lines inside the apartment are fluid, as we have come to expect from a Zaha Hadid Architects project, with the parquet floors and lower half of the walls providing a stark contrast and distinct separation from the white ceilings, a design element that they are calling "two half-shells."
For some reason, the apartment doesn't feel like a place for families. The designs of other spaces in the building, specifically Manuelle Gautrand's "Apartment 7," also have elements that we don't understand in the context of the organization and the purpose of the living spaces. The sharp corners and levels in Gautrand's design seem a little dangerous, just as Hadid's design seems more adult and less kid-friendly.
Patients and their families can expect the building to be completed by the summer of 2014.