Dialog, Stantec, and PCL are collaborating as one team on the new $1.4 billion cancer care facility and academic centre currently being built in Calgary. Under construction since late 2017, the new Calgary Cancer Centre will become the largest cancer treatment and research facility in Canada and the second largest in North America. Located on Alberta’s most prominent medical campus, Foothills Medical Centre, it will become part of a key urban artery in Calgary with direct linkage to the University of Calgary and public transit access to the downtown core.
Shaped around a seven-story podium building and six-story tower, the design of the building signals a shift in what is expected of modern health care facilities. The geometry and forms from the exterior building podium are carried through the two-story volume and reinforce the sense of entry into the building. Here, architecture is being used primarily as a vehicle to elicit a psychological response to bring into being feelings of trust, comfort, and resilience for patients, family, and staff.
Symbolizing the type of care a patient can expect to receive, the design features two curving L-shaped forms that come together in an embrace as “the arms” that surround an all-season exterior garden as the “heart.” The heart will provide year-round access and views to nature for patients and their families as they receive care and treatment. At approximately 2 million square feet, the centre is made up of inpatient units, outpatient clinics, radiotherapy treatment vaults, and medical research lab spaces.
“Hospitals are traditionally designed to access oriented to the interior, which makes wayfinding difficult. Designing from the outside in, light can elegantly penetrate common areas and external noise can be shielded without compromising access to natural elements, which is central to health and healing”, says the Dialog-Stantec healthcare design team. “Steady collaboration between architectural design and clinical planning can be a neutral and resourceful force to help health organizations fulfill their mission.”
The largest design and construction project of its kind in Canada, the Calgary Cancer Centre is designed to integrate treatment, education, and research into a comprehensive health campus that connects academics with health professionals, staff with patient family members, and patients with the surrounding community. Targeting LEED Gold, the project broke ground in October 2017 and is scheduled for completion in 2024.
Renderings via Dialog, Stantec.