Project category: New construction (completed November 2003)

Chief administrator: Dan Carriere, President and CEO, (905) 895-4521

Firm: Parkin Architects, Ltd., (416) 467-8000

Design team: John Christie, Project Director; May Chow, Project Architect; Mario Pistone, Project Manager; Gabriele Kinkartz, Intern, Interior Designer (Parkin Architects, Ltd.); Dan Carriere, President and CEO (Southlake Regional Health Centre)


Total building area (sq. ft.): 75,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $293 (Canadian)

Total cost (excluding land): $22,000,000 (Canadian)

Southlake Regional Health Centre is a hospital located in Newmarket, Ontario. The pharmacy, CVICU, ICU, Cardiac Rehab Gym, and lobby are newly completed components of a complex redevelopment project involving the construction of an infill facility, extensive renovations, and demolition of older buildings.

The ICU and CVICU are pivotal components of the hospital's expanding emergency care and cardiovascular care programs. These departments occupy the southern portion of the building, taking advantage of its serpentine shape to create two large, open pods, where the individual rooms radiate around each centrally located nursing station. The abundant windows and glass sliding doors create an environment full of natural light. The ICU and CVICU lounge overlooks the open space of the lobby through openings in the tall lobby walls.

At the heart of the building, the main lobby connects the relocated auditorium, chapel, cafeteria, library, and gift shop. A skylight above the chapel structure (not yet completed) provides visual connection to the central rooftop courtyard above, while filling the space with natural light. The connecting nature of the lobby provides a focal point in the hospital, helping to simplify an otherwise large and complex facility.

The high-security requirements of the pharmacy and the staff's desire for access to natural light were both met by the lower-level location of the department. The concrete foundation walls allow for a long span of clerestory glass block, bringing natural light into the main processing area—an amenity not provided by the department's prior location. Placing the open areas along the perimeter of the department enhanced access to the natural light.

Locating the Cardiac Rehab Gym on the main floor of the building to address public needs for accessibility meant placing the gym in a basement. The sloping site created a challenge for delivering natural light to occupied spaces of the building expansion on the north side. A large, double-story light well at the north end of the gym was designed to allow light to come from above grade, sharing it with a surgical suite above. The use of wood wall panels, ceiling panels, and baffles, as well as the intricate suspended ceiling panels, temper the light to add further warmth to the otherwise frugally exposed concrete.

The ICU, CVICU, pharmacy, lobby, and Cardiac Rehab Gym are at the early stages of the redevelopment project. Their completion was a critical step in the expansion of care at the Southlake Regional Health Centre.

All the spaces share design features of open spaces, access to natural light, and improved location and interdepartmental relationships.