Joe & Rosalie Segal Family Centre at VGH

segal 2

The next phase of redevelopment of the VGH campus is just wrapping up construction. Unusually there was a groundbreaking ceremony before the final design approvals had been issued. That’s partly because it already had an approved Development Permit from 2013, and because philanthropists Joseph and Rosalie Segal have made a lead gift of $12 million, and they wanted to see it built. VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation and its corporate and private donors committed another $13 million and the BC government  added around $57 million. The Joe & Rosalie Segal Family Centre consolidates multiple existing mental health services and programs that were distributed over several buildings at Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital. Designed by Parkin Architects, (a Toronto company looking to gain traction in the west) the eight storey acute care facility has 100 in-patient beds as well as outpatient facilities.

803 W 12th VGH SegalThe first version (shown right – before the final design contract) was designed by dys architects, and the built version shows some changes, including larger windows. It got unanimous support from the Urban Design Panel. The building is the latest proposal to renew the VGH campus, and will sit behind the Blusson Pavilion (with the spiral wheelchair ramp) and close to the recently renovated Willow Pavilion.

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2 Responses to Joe & Rosalie Segal Family Centre at VGH

  1. beach650 says:

    Nothing like gun-slit windows to encourage positive mental health.
    Nice to see this project advancing but I really don’t understand the reasoning behind the lack of windows – is there a design rationale/operational need for it? Or is it just the architect’s whim? Or are we looking at the rear in this rendering?

    • ChangingCity says:

      It may be the scale of the building is bigger than you imagine, so the light level might be better than it looks. The application talks quite a bit about natural light (an issue with the current ageing facility that will be replaced). “The H-shape of the upper fl oors not only creates ample opportunity for secured outdoor spaces for patients and staff to enjoy it also lets daylight penetrate deep into the floor plate resulting in light filled and airy common areas on all patient fl oors. The shallow depth of the building wings ensures that virtually all rooms on the patient floors will have direct access to daylight.” There’s even natural light and an outdoor view from the elevator core, and a roof garden with weather protection over the seating. “Continuous glazing is concentrated on the common areas of all patient floors in an effort to maximize the access to daylight for patients during daily activities and at the same time restrict the overall window wall ratio to allow for an energy efficient building design. The punched window openings for other areas of the building integrate fixed sun screens to mitigate solar heat gain.” There are illustrations of how the sunshading is designed to allow views whether standing, sitting or lying down – so it looks like they’ve thought pretty hard about the way the building works if you’re inside. And yes, there is also apparently a security acpect to the design as well.

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