Ross Memorial Hospital is a community-based healthcare facility in the town of Lindsay, Ontario, the heart of the recreation region of Kawartha Lakes. To meet the healthcare needs of the surrounding communities and to provide care closer to home, Ross Memorial Hospital launched plans to upgrade and expand its programs. The project provided the opportunity to address significant inefficiencies in the hospital's original design.

The existing facilities were dark, uninviting and, in many cases, had outlasted their useful life to support the technologic and advanced needs of clinical spaces. The main entrance was not immediately accessible from the main parking lot or to the handicapped. Visitors tended to use the most convenient door, which was adjacent to the emergency department. This practice caused congestion and confusion, resulting in compromised patient and visitor safety.

By acquiring five acres of adjacent land, Ross Memorial created a site for major redevelopment. The architect designed additions for ambulatory care, complex continuing care, palliative care, mental healthcare, and rehabilitation. The emergency department was increased to twice the previous capacity, incorporating both updates and additions. A new main entrance, directly connected to the expanded parking lot, was designed to bring people into the building efficiently. Public amenities, such as gift and coffee shops, were situated around the new entrance to make them easily accessible to visitors. The effective planning and colocation of departments, together with clear color coding throughout the hospital, made finding departments straightforward for patients and visitors.

The new additions to the hospital were kept low in scale—single-story additions to a maximum of three stories—in keeping with the heights of the existing hospital buildings. The new complex continuing care wing was planned so that all the patient rooms have views to the outside and access to exterior landscaped courtyards and terraces. The intention is to provide physical, functional, and aesthetic amenities to support and improve quality and longer length of stays for the patient.

The design for the redeveloped Ross Memorial Hospital enhanced the hospital's prominence within the community. The architecture and interior design were inspired by the materials and colors found in the surrounding region's farmhouses, cottages, and landscape. The use of exterior brickwork and the use of wood cabinetry and wood-grain sheet-vinyl flooring deliver reassuring warmth and a sense of familiarity to the people within the hospital's environment. At the same time, by applying these materials in clean, simple lines and by using glass curtainwall, the architect was able to reinforce the vision of a state-of-the-art facility.

Project category: New construction & Remodel/Renovation (completed February 2005)

Chief administrator: Anthony Vines, CEO, (705) 324-6111

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

Design team: John Christie, Project Director/Architect; May Chow, Project Manager; Sohail Akhtar, Job Captain; Anna Merotto, Intern, Interior Designer (Parkin Architects Limited); Anthony Vines, CEO (Ross Memorial Hospital)

Photography: Richard Johnson, Interior Images

Total building area (sq. ft.): 114,927 (new); 31,678 (renovation)

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $294 (new); $66 (renovation)

Total construction cost (excluding land): $33,758,000 (new); $2,078,000 (renovation)