Hamilton, ON

Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre

In 2013, mcCallumSather teamed with B+H Architects to design a new children’s treatment centre, as part of a Design Build Finance pursuit with Hamilton Health SciencesMcMaster Children’s Hospital. The Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre was designed to bring together Autism Spectrum Disorders Services, Child and Youth Mental Health programs, Developmental Pediatrics and Rehabilitation services and Prosthetic and Orthotic Services under one roof.

The goals of our pursuit design were to maintain privacy and dignity, provide sufficient capacity to meet client volumes, provide a natural therapeutic environment to lower anxiety, create an environment that stimulates children to build self-confidence and an inquisitive attitude, provide space for maximum family involvement and to develop new facilities following sustainable design practice. The design of the Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre itself serves as a communication for each of these goals, conveying the vision and intent that the Centre advocates to its clients and families.

Considering a child’s wonder and sense of curiosity was paramount in our approach. Our design looked to a variety of inspiring concepts to inform our building expression, which is accessible, safe and inviting while simultaneously bringing a sense of wonder. While the planning and performance requirements of the new facility resulted in a somewhat complex massing, we worked to bring order to the main facades of Wellington and the principal entry within our design, with brick and glass as primary cladding material and accents of stone and metal panel. Within the design, we organized the massing such that it created an L building with the open quadrant relating the northeast of the site to be more inviting to patients, caregivers and families.

The fundamental principles around which the internal planning was organized were based on creating clearly accessible floor plates with arrival sequences that facilitated the comfort of children, families and caregivers. We developed a truly collaborative environment by creating ample break-out spaces for staff on each floor. We sought to design a place that inspires pride on the part of the staff, families and patients while promoting a sense of ownership and engagement by all. A catalyst for the campus, neighbourhood and community regeneration our pursuit was designed to be a bridge between the hospital campus and the neighbourhood.