Situated in Ontario Canada, the Orléans Health Hub is a new, 90,000-square-foot community-focused hospital that opened in October 2021. The hub was designed by HDR (Kingston-Ottawa, Canada), and is comprised of seven distinct healthcare and community organizations, integrating wellness, condition management, and specialty outpatient services.
Designed to be a one-stop shop for health, the Orléans Health Hub offers community support programs such as counseling and wellness-centric retail under one roof, with the design streamlining these offerings for residents and patients with multiple chronic illnesses.
Using the Building’s Footprint to Rewild the Region
While the hub’s collaborative approach proposes new ways to provide primary and secondary healthcare, its unique location encourages reconnecting with the natural realm. Its position near the Ottawa River and Petrie Island inspire nature from the outside in.
A foundational study of the region’s geology, geography, flora, and fauna inspired the exterior design. For example, the natural canals of Petrie Island informed the development of an internal spine as the hub’s primary organizational element. A system of trails connects to a nearby neighborhood and invites patients and the community to enjoy outdoor recreation.
Meanwhile, the reintroduction of long grass meadows and native plants will re-naturalize the landscape to provide respite among the growing suburban region. Exterior wood cladding, structural mass timber, crafted wood corridors, and a living green wall are examples of contextually relevant material selection. Together, they evoke a sense of warmth and create a welcoming atmosphere for guests and patients.
Inside, floor-to-ceiling curtain wall glass is framed by wood cladding, offering a glimpse inside the hub that also exposes the interior environment to the expansive meadows surrounding the space. Daylighting and simplified wayfinding were also top priorities for the design team. This way, upon arrival, patients and members of the community enjoy communal seating and ease of navigation.
The Orléans Health Hub is a partnership between Bruyère, Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Eastern Ottawa Resource Centre, Hôpital Montfort, ParaMed, Ottawa Public Health, Geronto-Psychiatry Community Services of Ottawa and Home and Community Care Support Services Champlain.
Another version of this article originally appeared on our sister site Healthcare Design.