Designing a care facility guided by the themes of journey, discovery, and community connection
Built on a brownfield site in the city’s east end, the new Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre (RJCHC), is set to become a catalyst for urban regeneration in this re-emerging Hamilton neighborhood.
RJCHC houses Canada’s largest prosthetics and orthotics manufacturing, assessment, and fitting facilities (for children and adults). The facility also accommodates a wide variety of pediatric, rehabilitation, medical, and mental health services.
One of our most significant design challenges was that the RJCHC serves clients between the ages of 2 and 18. So, the design couldn’t be juvenile or childish. Respecting this age diversity, our theme solution was journey, discovery, and connections with community. We knew that this approach could be appreciated on multiple levels while remaining playful at the same time.
Familiar materials on the façade—glass, stone, brick, and colored panels—arranged in a rhythmic pattern project a playful face. Extensive gardens soften the urban site and create outdoor therapy space at grade and within secure terraces on upper levels.
At the heart of the facility, a two-story family resource center connects to a full-height light well, welcoming clients and families. With client and family experiences at the core of the design, the new Ron Joyce Children’s Health Centre empowers users who have cognitive, behavioral, and physical challenges.
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