Shikatani Lacroix Design partnered with Kasian Architects to develop a complete wayfinding and brand experience for one of Canada’s largest new hospitals – Calgary's South Health Campus. While Shikatani Lacroix Design has successfully transformed many major brands in its 25-year history, few projects have allowed SLD to be part of an assignment where the implementation scope spans decades.
Designed to accommodate:
thousand outpatient visits
thousand ambulatory visits
Calgary’s South Health Campus hospital is one of the largest hospitals in the Calgary market with over 100 acres of facilities. The whole theme of the hospital’s new building design is bringing the outside in; with over 12 gardens surrounding the facility, the building was designed to allow visibility from the outside looking in and inside looking out. As part of the development, SLD was selected to develop a new strategy that built on the vision of the new building.
The new city hospital’s scale and underground parking lot size, that would rival any major airport, provided a significant challenge in ensuring patients and visitors could easily navigate the hospital without getting lost.
The Emergency section of the hospital was located away from the main hospital entrance, while the underground parking provided many access points to the main hospital corridor that was over 1.7 km in length raising the probability of visitors getting lost and confused.
Complement the facility's green spaces
Develop a compelling brand experience that emphasizes healing
Shikatani Lacroix Design was tasked with developing a compelling brand experience and personality, and a strategy for how this would be applied to a wayfinding system.
Hospitals represent a vast range of citizens, from doctors, nurses, and specialists to support staff, patients and visitors. All of their distinct needs were taken into consideration as part of a multi-stage collaborative process. From the initial ideation workshops where stakeholders could share their vision of the future to further validation and input sessions leading up to the final design, SLD’s process was collaborative and inclusive.
Shikatani Lacroix Design designed a series of potential themes to consider which combination of elements would lead to the best patient experience. The new building architecture developed by Kasian Architects emphasizes the seamless integration of nature, from the outside gardens and oasis to the interior décor elements.
The design process took into consideration that Alberta is a mosaic of opposites: old (western ranching) and new (big cities), small town culture vs global reach, urban and rural, science and the arts, flat lands and mountains, smooth and rough textures, etc. The experience also needed to leverage the new South Health hospital exterior architecture, which uses a mosaic of windows to capture the Alberta landscape.
SLD explored a range of themes from “Experiencing Life,” “Inward/Outward Connections,” “Living Mosaics” and “Belonging Journey.” The final design solution celebrates humanity while capturing the various aspects of life in Calgary.
The new wayfinding incorporates mosaic elements that capture the essence of the above themes – as an umbrella design and through individual décor and signing elements. The mosaics also provide a platform to effectively integrate the wayfinding as part of the architectural personality, which ensures an integrated approach.
SLD’s design integrated this theme into the built environment, and the conventional and digital wayfinding systems, and took into consideration the phased implementation plan with a final completion date of 2025.
The program was launched in 2014 and continues to be implemented as new sections of the hospital are completed. Response from both patients and visitors has been extremely positive.
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