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The Globe and Mail

Sunshine Coast hospital expansion links healing to light, nature

Tour the $44-million expansion of St. Mary's Hospital in Sechelt, B.C. Its designers say the addition will make this community hospital the greenest in Canada

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Newly expanded St. Mary’s Hospital in Sechelt, B.C. ‘The design team set out to reflect indigenous themes and take advantage of the site’s natural beauty,’ says Tye Farrow, senior partner at Farrow Partnership Architects. ‘Our team took inspiration from the cedar bent[wood] box, unique to the coastal First Nations. In this concept, the bent[wood] box holds our most precious possession – our health.’

Latreille Delage Photography/Perkins + Will Canada / Farrow Partnership Architects

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Diagnostic imaging reception area. St. Mary’s, a community hospital, serves the communities of Sechelt, Langdale, Gibsons, Roberts Creek, Halfmoon Bay and Pender Harbour. It provides medical, surgical, obstetrics, extended care, diagnostic and emergency services.

Latreille Delage Photography/Perkins + Will Canada / Farrow Partnership Architects

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A CT scanner room which, like almost every space in the new facility, provides daylight and views outside. The $44-million, 5,400-square-metre addition includes new larger emergency and radiology departments, intensive care rooms and a new labour and delivery unit.

Latreille Delage Photography/Perkins + Will Canada / Farrow Partnership Architects

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An ICU nursing station. St. Mary’s Hospital project was designed with the goal of becoming a carbon-neutral hospital. The project includes 125 boreholes sunk into the ground, each 76 metres deep, which provide a source of zero-carbon geo-thermal energy for heating and cooling the building. A high-performance building envelope minimizes energy loss.

Latreille Delage Photography/Perkins + Will Canada / Farrow Partnership Architects

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Two new floors of single-patient rooms mean more privacy and a reduced risk of hospital-acquired infections. (All patient rooms are to be converted to single occupancy; acute-care beds have been increased to 63 from 41 for the growing area.) Patient rooms have large windows that maximize natural daylight and views of the Strait of Georgia.

Latreille Delage Photography/Perkins + Will Canada / Farrow Partnership Architects

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Ward clerk station, level 2. The architecture team came up with ways to make work easier by providing alcoves close to patient rooms where doctors can update charts and by building in pull-out shelves between patient rooms and hallways, where supplies can be loaded by staff on one side and picked up later by nurses in the rooms.

Latreille Delage Photography/Perkins + Will Canada / Farrow Partnership Architects

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Public corridor, level 2. Wood is not a material seen in traditional hospitals, but the architecture team wanted a material that reflected the culture and environment of British Columbia.

Latreille Delage Photography/Perkins + Will Canada / Farrow Partnership Architects

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The health-care facility was opened to the public in March with renovations to the existing site, including a new lobby, to be finished by the spring of 2014. Chief Gary Feshuck, whose Sechelt Indian Band originally donated the land for the hospital in 1962, thanked the architects for showcasing native culture in the building’s design. ‘We are as proud of it as we are the artwork that will be displayed for everyone to view and appreciate.’

Latreille Delage Photography/Perkins + Will Canada / Farrow Partnership Architects

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