Humber River Hospital embarked on an important transition: one that would take it from a hospital constrained by the limitations of aging technology and building infrastructure to North America's first fully digital hospital. The new Humber River Hospital, which opened in October 2015, uses the most current technologies possible to enhance all aspects of quality patient care delivery, improving efficiency, accuracy, reliability and safety. Serving more than 850,000 people in northwest Toronto, the new hospital, at 1.8 million square feet of space, is now the largest acute care hospital in the Greater Toronto Area.
One of the more striking design features of the hospital are the gigantic art installations on the north and south facades. Titled "Aspen Grove," these glass murals recall a colourful woodland scene, representing the harmonization of the hospital with the local community. The mural design speaks to the diverse community served by Humber River Hospital. An aspen grove—though it has different colours, different shapes, and different sizes—actually come from a single root system. The hospital's south terraced plaza supports community gathering and features outdoor seating and curved amphitheatre-like retaining walls.
A Portals of Care concept assigns each clinic its own distinct space and entrance. The clinics act as individual neighborhoods, preventing patients and visitors from walking through endless corridors to reach a destination. Clinical adjacencies strategically consolidate services, optimize clinical functionality and improve flow. Patient arrivals are interactive with maps and wayfinding that represents 17 cultures and uses pictures instead of words.
HDR provided full architectural and healthcare consulting services as part of the Plenary Healthcare Partnerships team which included Plenary Health and HCP Social Infrastructure (developer), PCL Constructors (construction), HDR (architecture), Johnson Controls (facilities management), and RBC Capital Markets (financial advisor).