Canadian Architect


Chinook Regional Hospital addition opens in Lethbridge

June 23, 2016
by Canadian Architect

Photographer: Andrew Latreille.

Photographer: Andrew Latreille.

Perkins+Will and Group2’s Unique Modern Design Maximizes Well-Being and Workflow in Lethbridge’s Chinook Regional Hospital

Today the community of Lethbridge celebrates the grand opening of the new addition to Chinook Regional Hospital, one of two major facilities servicing the communities of southern Alberta.

Perkins+Will, in association with Group2 Architecture, designed the new addition to respond to the vernacular and scale of the site, complementing the existing building while creating a fresh, modern element that defines a new main entry and takes advantage of technological and materials advancements. Uniquely designed with a narrow floorplate, the new addition both maximizes daylighting and optimizes workflow.

“Supporting patient recovery and staff well-being is our number one priority,” says Susan Gushe, Managing Director at Perkins+Will. “By providing Chinook Regional Hospital with access to natural daylight and views, areas for respite and repose, and soothing and calming interiors, we aim to reduce occupant stress and improve patient outcomes and retain staff.”

Photographer: Andrew Latreille.

Photographer: Andrew Latreille.

The addition allows natural light into the majority of occupied spaces through light scoops along the central spine, clerestory windows, glass floors and glazing into the various departments. The landscaped courtyard and roof terrace provides onsite respite gardens that promote healing and a connection to nature, enhancing the circadian rhythm.

Lean strategies were integrated early in the design process to improve and optimize outcomes through the delivery of an efficient and effective workflow, with shorter distances for most tasks and better sightlines for improved supervision and safety. As a result, many areas were affected, in particular Day Procedures where the bed count was reduced by 30% by streamlining the design to be in close alignment with operational procedures. The new addition also connects to all six floors of the existing hospital, making access between the buildings seamless. To accommodate the rapid cycle of innovation and change seen in healthcare environments, spaces were designed to be easily reconfigured to allow for changes in equipment, function or workflow.

Photographer: Andrew Latreille.

Photographer: Andrew Latreille.

“A critical part of this project was to incorporate innovative ideas and best practices that improve recovery and enhance comfort and safety for patients and staff,” said Larry Raymond, Alberta Infrastructure Regional Director. “This was achieved while ensuring the project remains both economically and environmentally sustainable.”

The narrow floorplate informs a simple logical layout, with the central corridor acting as its spine, allowing ease of wayfinding. Lit artwork panels direct people to department entrances, performing double duty as wayfinding elements and delightful art pieces. Art as the ability to transform the healthcare experience at these critical moments in our lives.

Photographer: Andrew Latreille.

Photographer: Andrew Latreille.

Chinook Regional Hospital is the first healthcare project in Canada to use the U.S Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (USGBC-LEED) for Healthcare rating system and is targeting Silver certification. Balanced with the practical concerns of a healthcare building, the design incorporates local, sustainable and healthy material choices wherever possible, promoting environmental quality and social benefits while minimizing operational costs.

The new addition and renovations affected the following healthcare programs: Emergency, Day Procedures, Day Surgery, Labour and Delivery, NICU, Outpatient Services, Cancer Care, Rehabilitation, Respiratory Therapy, Day Medicine, Ortho, Education, Staff Facilities, Spiritual Care, Gift Shop and the Main Entry.

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