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Architectural Blog Series: Michael Lee-Chin & Family Patient Tower

Welcome back to our Architectural Blog Series. Today on the blog, we take a look at the new Michael Lee-Chin & Family Patient Tower at Burlington’s Joseph Brant Hospital.

About the Michael Lee-Chin & Family Patient Tower

The new, seven-story, state-of-the-art tower is an integral component of Joseph Brant Hospital’s multiphase redevelopment project, the largest project of its kind in Burlington’s history. With the patient tower’s addition, Joseph Brant Hospital doubles in size to approximately 800,000-square-feet. It combines technology, open space, and a calming environment to encourage patient health and healing.

The tower adds 172 acute inpatient beds, a new emergency department, operating rooms, expanded cancer clinic and intensive care unit (ICU), a renovated special care nursery and expanded medical, surgical, diagnostic and outpatient services.

70 percent of the new rooms are single-patient, proven to be beneficial on multiple levels: from improved patient care and satisfaction to increased infection control. The acute-patient rooms all have therapeutic views of the outdoors, including views of Lake Ontario, Hamilton Harbour or the Niagara Escarpment. Natural views contribute to the healing internal environment built for patients.

Built over an existing free-standing parking lot at the rear of the hospital, both tower and parking are connected to the main facility by an enclosed footbridge. 

Areas of Design

In collaboration with stakeholders, staff and the community, we identified five key design principles for both the new tower and throughout the facility’s redevelopment.

1. Patient and Family Centred Care: First and foremost was to understand the needs of patients and their families; creating more single-patient rooms is an example of supporting their need for safety, comfort, privacy and confidentiality.

2. Leading Practice: Providing great staff-focussed environments with opportunities for continuous teaching, learning, and practice, utilizing the latest technological advancements.

3. Operational Efficiencies: Flexibility, adaptation, simplicity and clarity of departmental adjacencies and public/front-of-house and back-of-house corridor systems are key features for minimizing walking distances for visitors, patients, and staff.

4. Improve Accessibility and Build Community: Creating an inclusive design that respects and accommodates users of all ages with varying physical abilities and psychological conditions.

5. Hospital Identity: The new era in care champions the hospital’s place in the community showing they provide exemplary healthcare services, and acknowledges its civic importance on the Burlington waterfront.

An Environment of Wellness

One of our design goals was to create an environment of wellness within the new tower. The design creates a cohesive relationship between indoors and out, combining the use of natural daylight, large windows, outdoor courtyards, terraces and roof top gardens to positively influence patient and staff wellness. Even interior artwork draws on the natural world, including images of various flowers. 

Sustainable Initiatives

In addition to green roofs, which offer sustainability and cost savings benefits, Joseph Brant Hospital’s Redevelopment and Expansion Project is targeting LEED Silver certification.

This facility was designed in joint venture with Adamson Associates Architects.

For more pictures from this project, please check out our Healthcare board on Pinterest.


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