The kids are alright...

Thursday 29 Apr 2010

Montgomery Sisam and Stantec collaborate to create a benchmark facility for young people

Bloorview Kids Rehab is a highly specialised, multi-use facility that includes a hospital, rehabilitation centre, research centre, school and a recreation centre focused around children and youth with disabilities. The new six-floor, 358,000 sq ft L-shaped building creates an alternative experience to the typical hospital environment. The facility is welcoming and supportive, holistic in its approach to rehabilitation and treatment – empowering children, families and visitors.

The facility provides a hierarchy of spaces from public to private. Public spaces are open and accessible to all; full of light and activity, they encourage connection to the ravine site and community beyond. Intimate spaces, such as patient and family accommodation are infused with natural light; provide comfortable space, are personal in scale and restful in material.

Unique to this facility are twenty special art installations created by local artisans and children. The artwork weaves a story about the site, nature, community and history. The client’s aspiration was to create an inspirational building that reflects what is best for children, young people and their families; to create a building which speaks to a child’s right to participate in society.

The architects' response was to design a welcoming environment that connects the building with the surrounding community and natural ravine setting. The building is designed around a network of meaningful common areas that include ample natural light and views and access to outdoor terraces. The major spaces such as the family resource centre, education centre, cafeteria and swimming pool are presented in a comfortable, natural sequence that emulates the healing process.

Beth Kapusta from Azure said of the project: "Bloorview sets a new benchmark for the shape patient- and family-centred health care should take in the future. We can now point and say ‘Like Bloorview’ – two words that will give meaningful form to these emerging system changes."

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