Text description provided by the architects. This major addition and renovation to St. John’s Rehab Hospital takes full advantage of a remarkable site by reconnecting the major public spaces within the building to the surrounding natural landscape, which is part of the Toronto ravine system. The internal clinical environment has been transformed into a fresh, inviting space which will contribute to the patients’ rehabilitation and recovery. On entering the building, one sees directly through to the treed ravine edge, the hospital’s most precious asset.
The addition consists of two large rehabilitation gyms, associated clinical offices, a new therapy pool and a relocated, grade level central drop off and entry. A generous, single-loaded corridor provides the primary circulation for the addition at both levels. Not only does it provide access to a wide range of multi-disciplinary treatment spaces, it offers views into a new therapy garden and the ever-changing landscape. At the same time, it is an ideal setting for patients to work independently on their rehabilitation treatment and gradually regain mobility and confidence.
Also included in the project is a new loading dock, designed so that it is concealed from view, allowing for the reinstatement of the original entry court which had been relegated to a parking lot.
This project illustrates the potential for hospitals to be more than just clinical settings. St. John’s sets an example for a more holistic idea about health: one that includes comfort, well being and inspiration, one that is closely affiliated with the ravine system which provides such a precious natural ecosystem for the healthy city.