Project category: Addition (completed January 2005)

Chief administrator: Tom Schonberg, Chief Executive Officer, (613) 721-4700

Firm: Parkin Architects Limited, (416) 467-8000

Design team: Darrell Doucette, former Project Manager; Bill Baldwin, Manager of Planning and Procurement (Queensway Carleton Hospital); John Christie, Project Director; Cameron Shantz, Project Architect; Mary Chow, Design Architect (Parkin Architects Limited)

Photography: Richard Johnson (

Total building area (sq. ft.): 38,482

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $678 (Canadian)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $26,100,000 (Canadian)

Parkin Architects Limited worked with the Queensway Carleton Hospital to design a new addition to the existing 1970s hospital. The project consists of a 17,424-square-foot emergency department serving 60,000 to 70,000 patients a year. Located on two stories above the ED is an ICU for 12 patients collocated with a 42-bed medical inpatient unit. A 36-bed inpatient unit for a shared population of Rehabilitation and Geriatric Assessment patients is located on the top floor.

The layout of the ED is based on the separation of the fast-track patients from the acute patients at triage. The challenge of the program was to maintain visibility to all patients. The Acute area is broken down into two joined Us of ten stretchers each, with a central nursing desk with a view into both pods. A large, stand-up electronic charting desk is provided in each pod to facilitate caregivers' work flow. Visibility and privacy were provided throughout the department through the use of sliding glass doors. A strong design theme of graphic shapes was incorporated into the design of the bulkheads, floor patterns, and millwork.

Double-sided elevators provide quick access for moving patients to the ICU or inpatient units on the two floors above the ED. Extra care was given to the design of the inpatient rooms. The angled layout of beds provides privacy for each patient and a view to the exterior. Each patient room has a small seating area for family, as well as a cupboard unit for personal belongings, cards, and flowers.

The design elements of the Rehabilitation Unit include homelike materials and colors. Patterned wood-grain vinyl and wood headboards soften the look of the entire unit. The dining room affords wonderful vistas across the Ottawa River to the Gatineau Hills and beyond.

Parkin undertook extensive user-group meetings with all of the program directors and staff members to develop the layouts. Full-scale mock-ups were constructed to test the design, providing valuable information that was used to modify the actual room layouts. Extra care was taken to develop layouts that provided for staff efficiencies while including design elements to assist in patient orientation and to reduce the institutional character of the spaces.