Chinook Regional Hospital Celebrates Opening of New Addition

Perkins+Will’s and Group2’s Unique Modern Design Maximizes Well-Being and Workflow in Lethbridge’s Chinook Regional Hospital

Chinook Regional Hospital, one of two major healthcare facilities serving the communities of southern Alberta, celebrates today the grand opening of its new addition. Designed by Perkins+Will, in association with Group2 Architecture, the new addition complements the existing building while creating a fresh, modern feel. A new main entry, along with technological and materials advancements and a narrow floorplate, enables the new addition to maximize daylighting and optimize workflow.

“Supporting patient recovery and staff well-being is our Number One priority,” says Susan Gushe, managing director at Perkins+Will’s Vancouver office. “By providing Chinook Regional Hospital with access to natural daylight and views, areas for respite and repose, and soothing and calming interiors, we aim to reduce occupant stress and improve patient outcomes and retain staff.”

The addition allows natural light into the majority of occupied spaces through light scoops along the central spine, clerestory windows, glass floors, and glazing into the various departments. The landscaped courtyard and roof terrace provides onsite respite gardens that promote healing and a connection to nature, enhancing the circadian rhythm.

Lean strategies were integrated early in the design process to improve and optimize outcomes through the delivery of an efficient and effective workflow, with shorter distances for most tasks and better sightlines for improved supervision and safety. As a result, many areas were benefitted, including one in which bed count was reduced by 30 percent by streamlining the design. The new addition also connects to all six floors of the existing hospital, making access between the buildings seamless. To accommodate the rapid cycle of innovation and change seen in healthcare environments, spaces were designed to be easily reconfigured to allow for changes in equipment, function, or workflow.

“A critical part of this project was to incorporate innovative ideas and best practices that improve recovery and enhance comfort and safety for patients and staff,” said Larry Raymond, regional director of Alberta Infrastructure. “This was achieved while ensuring the project remains both economically and environmentally sustainable.”

The narrow floorplate informs a simple logical layout, with the central corridor acting as its spine, allowing ease of wayfinding. Lit artwork panels direct people to department entrances, performing double duty as wayfinding elements and delightful art pieces. Art as the ability to transform the healthcare experience at these critical moments in our lives.

Chinook Regional Hospital is the first healthcare project in Canada to use the U.S Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (USGBC-LEED) for Healthcare rating system and is targeting Silver certification. Balanced with the practical concerns of a healthcare building, the design incorporates local, sustainable, and healthy material choices wherever possible, promoting environmental quality and social benefits while minimizing operational costs.

The new addition and renovations affected the following healthcare programs: Emergency, Day Procedures, Day Surgery, Labour and Delivery, NICU, Outpatient Services, Cancer Care, Rehabilitation, Respiratory Therapy, Day Medicine, Ortho, Education, Staff Facilities, Spiritual Care, Gift Shop and the Main Entry.

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