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Institutional Design Explained

By Harland C. Lindsay, Director, Parkin Architects Limited

While the general public understanding of architects is “people who design pretty buildings,” the challenge of institutional architecture is to provide buildings that work for staff and users. These buildings need to be as efficient for staff as they need to be comfortable and pleasant. The buildings also need to minimize the amount of labour, such as walking, for the users.

To do this, we need to know how buildings work on a day-to-day, operational basis, whether it’s a library or a hockey arena. Our firm has spent long hours in public buildings, watching, listening and learning how these buildings and their users operate, and we work to improve these spaces so the users can be better administrators, better nurses, better physicians, and so on.


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