Prime Architects: Kuch Stephenson Gibson Malo Architects and Engineer
Associated Design Architects: Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc.
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
Client: St. Joseph’s Care Group
Project area: 52,000 sq. ft.
Project year: 2009
Photographs: Tom Arban
The Sister Margaret Smith Addictions Treatment Centre provides residential and non-residential services for the treatment of addictions including drug and alcohol, gambling and eating disorders, among others.
The Centre has been designed to support the Core Values of the St. Joseph’s Care Group which are; compassionate and holistic care, dignity and respect, faith based care, inclusiveness, truthfulness and trust. Inspired by these values, the design creates a clear sequence of spaces which offer a variety of relationships to the exterior landscape. The healing quality of natural light has been a prime consideration throughout the design.
The organizing spine of the building, called the Hall of Recovery, is where clients are introduced and oriented to this dignified, calm and welcoming setting. The building has been arranged around two landscaped courts: one for residential clients and the other for non-residential clients. Both courts provide a safe environment and are used for various therapeutic programmes. The spiritual space has been designed in a circular form to be respectful of the aboriginal community, who make up a large portion of the client population.
The St Joseph’s Care Group was very eager to embrace the principles of sustainable design from the onset, particularly as they relate to their mission to provide holistic care. It was understood early on that a healthy building environment can be an essential part of the healing process and that environmental stewardship equates to compassionate care for all. The building is targeting LEED® Gold, the first in north-western Ontario. Results are pending approval of the Canadian Green Building Council.