Health Sciences Centre (HSC), Women’s Hospital: Designing Beyond the Walls

Women’s Hospital, located at the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg, is on a brownfield site adjacent to the existing campus. The hospital is designed to meet the needs of women and their families.

It is warm, welcoming, and respectful of patients’ need for privacy, as well as providing multiple opportunities for interpersonal connections and support. Located at ground level, the ambulatory care clinics incorporate systems furniture at reception areas in order to facilitate future reconfiguration. Because all women’s healthcare services had previously been dispersed across the campus, it was recognized that new synergies among programs would emerge only once they were all collocated, likely necessitating changes in physical configuration. All patients are accommodated in single rooms, with support spaces for families in every bedroom.

A Principal and shareholder at Parkin, (and University of Manitoba graduate), Lynne Wilson Orr is an architect and interior designer with a particular interest and expertise in the design and delivery of health facilities. She is an accomplished medical facilities planner and designer who focuses on conceptual planning, space programming, and design. In her own words:

“Healthcare facilities design makes a difference in the healthcare delivery experiences of patients and their families. Historically dark, dingy hospitals, painted in depressing shades of green—with tiny windows and no sense of caring about people—were simply wrong-minded. People should feel that they are cared for, that their mental and emotional health is just as important as their physical health, and that healthcare buildings can be places that foster community. Access to natural daylight and views of landscaped areas are important for not only patients and visitors, but also for staff, whose work can be difficult and whose days are long. “

Parkin has developed a series of videos that focus on Lynne’s experience designing and planning the hospital. The fourth video in the series “Designing Beyond the Walls” is posted for viewing. To view this insightful video, please visit us on YouTube.