Kasian acquires Torontos Health Strategy Architects

Canadian architectural firm Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. has acquired Health Strategy Architects Ltd. (HSA). The move complements Kasians portfolio of health care projects in Western Canada and marks a key step in Kasians entry into Eastern Canada. Having HSA join our firm is a very important move for us, says Kasian President and founder Don Kasian. It marks a major milestone in our plan to grow our firm globally. This also provides us the opportunity to offer our fantastic range of services to the Ontario market.

After 12 years as a founding principal of HSA, Patsy Poulin felt that the time was ripe to join forces with a larger, growing firm such as Kasian. The Ontario market is changing, says the architect, who was trained in Edinburgh, Scotland. With the advent of private financing initiatives and the volume of current and proposed health care construction in the Ontario market, there is a limit to the ability of a smaller firm to be an active player.

The major demographic shift of Baby Boomers entering their sixties is generating increased requirements for new health-care projects, Poulin adds. At the same time, there has been a decline in the provincial infrastructure and an increase in societal expectations for better health care. This has led to increased construction volume, which has fostered several recent consolidations in the health care design field. Larger firms are better positioned to pursue these opportunities. As HSA, we were not able to access this market.

By allying ourselves with Kasians resources in designing new and large-scale hospitals, we will have far greater potential in targeting the emerging Ontario markets. Kasian has tremendous experience from their recent projects in BC and Alberta, which we will be able to tap into. Poulin is referring to such projects as the $253-million Alberta Childrens Hospital in Calgary, which opened this past September. Kasian was lead architect and prime consultant.

Poulin also cites the way Kasian is structured as a plus factor in influencing her decision to join the firm. Kasian operates as a single firm across the country. We can access Kasians people and experience in their various offices and bring that knowledge to the work we do for our Ontario clients. Much of that expertise is not available in the Ontario market, even within the larger design firms.

The entire HSA team has been retained and will begin to operate under the Kasian banner immediately. We are very enthusiastic about the opportunities this change brings, individually and collectively. We are looking forward to growing the Kasian presence in the Ontario market and have plans to recruit and hire in the new year.

HSA staff will remain in their existing office at 398 Adelaide St. W. until Kasians new consolidated Toronto office opens in the summer of 2007. HSA has particular expertise in complex-care and rehabilitation facilities for longer-stay patients with multiple health care needs.

Recent HSA projects include:
The $60-million new Complex Care, Rehabilitation and Intensive Care Unit expansion for Quinte Healthcares Belleville site. The project is the first of Infrastructure Ontarios Build-Finance model of alternative finance. Construction is slated to start in early 2007. The project will be followed by subsequent phases to move the Emergency Department into a new wing and to expand the perioperative program.
The $2-million Gamma Knife Centre at Toronto Western Hospital, the first Gamma Knife installation in Ontario. The state-of-the-art centre will treat radiosurgery patients with non-invasive
The $27-million Brockville General Hospital, the centre for acute hospital services for the City of Brockville and the surrounding Ontario communities in Leeds-Grenville Counties.

Recent Kasian health care projects include:
The $253-million, 750,000-sq.-ft. Alberta Childrens Hospital in Calgary. Kasian was lead architect and prime consultant. In response to feedback from patients and their parents, the hospital features bright colours, large windows, family-friendly rooms and healing gardens.
The $166-million, 400,000-sq.-ft. Royal Jubilee Hospital Diagnostic & Treatment Centre in Victoria houses surgery, radiology and emergency departments and is the Cardiac Centre for Excellence for the Vancouver Island Health Authority. Lower-height interstitial floors house power and data cabling, water and oxygen lines and other infrastructure. These floors can accommodate maintenance and future changes in function without interrupting hospital operations on the main floors.
The $25-million, 80-bed Powell River Hospital, in British Columbia, was sited to exploit its sloping site by providing access at grade to three of its four storeys. The shape and orientation of the building aid energy efficiency by minimizing heat gain or loss. Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd is an award-winning design firm with over 300 staff in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Toronto and Dubai and Shanghai. Kasian is a leader in the design of education, recreational, public and health care facilities, transportation infrastructure, urban development and interior design.

For more information, please visit www.kasian.com.