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Handled with flair – Providence Care Hospital

A finalist in the ‘Health Care’ category of the SBID Awards 2017, the superb new Providence Care Hospital in Kingston, Ontario, was created in a massive $353 million redevelopment.

The scheme provided brand new premises for Providence Care Hospital – one of Ontario’s leading providers of specialised mental health care, physical medicine, specialised geriatric services, complex continuing care, palliative care and long-term care.

Located on a site south of the original hospital to take advantage of the views of Lake Ontario, the building was completed in November 2016.

The new building brings together programmes from Providence’s two sites; St. Mary’s of the Lake Hospital and Mental Health Services into a new facility with 270 beds, of which 180 are designated for rehabilitation, complex continuing care and geriatric inpatients and 90 beds are forensic and specialised mental health.

Providence Care Hospital

Parkin Architects Limited was the lead architect in a joint venture with Adamson Associates on this project, and was responsible for the management of the entire design team. Specifically Parkin acted as design team lead for the masterplan, clinical planning, interior design, engineering coordination and overall project management. Adamson was responsible for the exterior design and detailing, site plan with coordination of landscape and civil disciplines. The team’s work spanned from the Public Private Partnership RFP bid stage through to completion of construction.

Speaking of the project’s place as a finalist in the SBID awards, Cameron Shantz, director and project architect at Parkin Architects Limited said: “It is very fulfilling to be given international recognition for this project, having overcome all of the difficulties and challenges of a complex project such as this one.

“We won the commission to design the project in competition with three other bidders. The project brief was extremely interesting in that it combined a number of patient groups – forensic mental health, adult mental health, plus complex continuing care and rehabilitation – in a way which we believe has never been done before in any one hospital in North America.

“This 625,000 sq ft facility includes nine inpatient units – three for mental health and six for a combination of rehabilitation and complex continuing care, including those who have had physical injuries, such as amputees; patients with brain injuries and those with geriatric illnesses such as Alzheimer’s. There are also numerous associated support spaces, including a large rehab area with a pool and gymnasium, a geriatric day hospital and a number of ambulatory care clinics including mental health outpatients, medical imaging and other medical clinics. There are also the normal support spaces such as food services, cafeteria and materials management needed to run a very large hospital.”

A key challenge of the project was to create spaces which are safe for all patients.

The architects developed a number of architectural details that addressed patient and staff safety, while respecting patient dignity. These details provided a similar look and feel throughout the building, whether addressing accessibility or safety issues, through the use of different materials to ensure that requirements for safety were met.

For example, through testing of different glazing types, the architects were able to establish safe glass products, which look exactly the same, but have substantially improved abuse resistance suitable for use in mental health areas.

The faceted perimeter of the new facility provided ample opportunity to integrate the natural landscape into the internal experience of the building. The space between the new building and the lake was created as a landscaped right of way to provide an amenity for the community to enjoy. An existing waterfront trail was incorporated along the edge of the site and extended into the property to allow a seamless feel at the site boundary, promoting use of the grounds by the wider community. The building was tucked into the sloping site to provide a three- storey solution taking advantage of the views to Lake Ontario from all levels.

Providence Care Hospital

Cameron Shantz continued: “Construction started in late 2014 with completion in December 2016; two and half years to complete the whole project was very fast – and in fact, construction started before we had finished the planning.

“The public private partnership process meant that there was no way to extend the project timeframe and everything just had to be completed on schedule.

“This had to be balanced with the need to design a good hospital which meets the requirements of both the brief and the fine details which the hospital was looking for.

“Balancing working with the users and trying to keep the contractor happy at the same time was demanding but enjoyable. The hospital was very happy with the result and how the new building has improved both the quality of care and the environment for staff and patients.”

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