Connect Landscape Architecture (Connect LA) is part of the PCL Construction Team picked to build the new St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver. The firm is tasked to create a landscape design to foster both user and community health.
“Our truly public vision supports holistic healing and promotes health and wellness weaving together principles of place, healing and resiliency,” said Ken Larsson, creative director at Connect LA, “Not only at the level of the individual but also through connections to the community and the land, while acknowledging the Site’s history, culture, and ecology.”
According to the government, the new St. Paul’s Hospital is the largest hospital redevelopment project in B.C.’s history. It will be a patient-centered campus of care focused on sustainability and resiliency. Public spaces such as parks and plazas as well as community infrastructure will integrate this new facility with the community it serves.
The design goal was to create a therapeutic environment that not only fosters user health, but also focuses on healing the site. House posts are prominently located as gateways, representing the four nations, four seasons. Ethnobotanical plantings provide connections to First Nations healing landscapes.
Biophilic design principles have been employed, and access to nature has been maximized to healing gardens for patients, visitors, and staff. Diverse healing environments contribute to the creation of reflective and active spaces, promoting wellness and offering therapeutic function at a variety of scales throughout the campus.
The landscape is designed to be resilient and adaptive to a changing environment. The design anticipates climate change, rising water levels, and fluctuations in rainfall intensity and events through an on-site water retention strategy and focuses on landscapes which are drought-tolerant and low-maintenance.
The team at Connect has worked on its share of health care facilities, including the Teck Acute Care Centre at BC Children and Women’s Hospital and St. Mary’s Hospital in Sechelt.