The design of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM) was driven by four key concepts: consolidating three aged hospitals, enhancing the urban context, addressing scale, and solidifying Montreal’s standing as a health science hub of excellence. It is the largest health infrastructure project underway in North America and arguably the only health project in the world of this scale being built on such a highly constrained, urban site.
The CHUM consolidates Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal (the second-oldest hospital in North America built in 1861), Notre-Dame (built in 1924) and Saint-Luc (built in 1928) into one community of right-sized buildings, each designed with its own parameters of excellence. The complex is the anchor of the Quartier de la Santé — Montreal’s new health district — connecting two culturally rich neighborhoods: Old Montreal and its Latin Quarter.
The new CHUM responds to this highly urban site by presenting buildings that vary in scale and articulation, but maintain a common language of related materials and façade strategies. The “three towers” concept allows for a massing that is sympathetic to the neighborhood and identifiable in form and character from key vantage points within the city — from the mountain to the waterfront. The creation of clear and powerful public and green spaces, in addition to the careful integration of art and architectural artifacts (the CHUM's art program exceeds $3 million USD), contribute to the hospital’s role as a civic neighbor.