Ciaran’s House - CLIC Sargent Home from Home

Client: CLIC Sargent

CLIC Sargent is a charity supporting children and young people with cancer, and their families. Part of their primary support structures are their Home-from-Homes.

A Home-from-Home provides families with accommodation when their child is going through cancer treatment. They are free and close to principal treatment centres, helping families avoid the extra financial burdens of travel, accommodation and food costs. y are well enough, so they can share special family moments at the Homes-from-Home, perhaps a meal or birthday celebration. A Home-from-Home is a lifeline – they are not just about providing families with a place to stay.

CLIC Sargent are well established in Edinburgh.  Their pre-existing Home-from-Home in Edinburgh, opened more than 14 years ago, was close to Edinburgh’s Royal Hospital for Sick Children. With the Hospital moving out of the city centre, the relocation of the Home-from-Home became a necessity for CLIC Sargent to maintain their close proximity.

Ciaran’s House is a new Edinburgh Home-from-Home.

They should be a welcoming, non-clinical environment where families can get respite from the confines of the hospital ward, cook a meal and spend some time together. 

Communal spaces offer the opportunity for a number of families to relax, eat together, feel at home and do ‘normal’ things like watch TV, read or play a game. The bedrooms need to have flexibility for families sleeping arrangements in order to maximize capacity per room.

The brief requirements were nine ensuite family bedrooms (inc. accessible), communal living spaces (kitchen dining spaces, family lounges / play rooms), staff office & car parking.

The project looks to tailor the design to the aspirations of a Home-from-Home and take advantage of the unique opportunities specific to the new location.  The contemporary architecture seeks to form a sensitive relationship to the historic late Georgian farmhouse.  British hand made bricks are selected to complement the tonal range and textural qualities of the existing sandstone, while acknowledging a clear separation between new and old.  The internal spaces are welcoming, naturally lit and homely with hard wearing, low maintenance specification. Communal spaces offer the opportunity for a number of families to relax, eat together, feel at home and do ‘normal’ things like watch TV, read or play a game. The bedrooms need to have flexibility for families sleeping arrangements in order to maximize capacity per room

To mitigate the environmental impact the project principally targets building re-use, efficient space planning and natural ventilation.  Passive measures have contributed to building fabric levels achieving 14-20% less than the building standards maximum levels. M&E systems are designed to lower energy use, leading to an estimated 18.75% energy reduction compared to a baseline building meeting the current building standards.

The design of the landscaped garden is intended to enhance the natural setting and create a calm haven for families staying.

In the two years leading up to the opening of Ciaran’s House, the existing Edinburgh Home-from-Home provided accommodation to over 300 families. Ciaran’s House will now allow CLIC Sargent to continue this vital service.  The new house has already provided 185 family stays (including return visits) with the average length of stay being 14 days.  The awaited opening of the new hospital will unlock the full promise of the relocation.



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