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Parkin Architects Limited Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

January 2014
EDAC Advocate Firm Project
Winnipeg Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

parkin architects limited

Firm's goal on the project: Replacing the womens pavillion.

EBD Goal

The Women and Newborn Hospital in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a 37,000 sq. meter, 173-bed facility currently under construction is replacing the 60-year-old Women’s Pavilion. A public consultation process envisioned a place: to serve the diverse healthcare needs of women through the cycle of life, to advance care, through excellence in research and education, to be welcoming, respectful, calming and peaceful, to improve patient and staff comfort and experiences, as well as their safety and outcomes and their general attitude towards the care environment.


This research led to the development of lighting systems within the NICU to support the melanopsin function of pre-term infants and the circadian rhythms of post-term infants, family members and staff. Flexible lighting was designed for the comfort and control of staff and patients. Acoustic measures were implemented to facilitate staff communication and reduce noise, particularly in NICU and LDR patient rooms. Integration of nature and cultural identity is captured by an extensive application of expansive windows in patient and public areas, views to roof top gardens, a staff solarium and a hospital-wide implementation of prairie wildflower artwork.


The facility houses diverse and complex programs that include inpatient/ outpatient gynecology, specialized surgical suites, inpatient/outpatient obstetrics programs for low and high-risk births, and a single room neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). The hospital serves a broad age range and cultural demographics, with clients predominantly from aboriginal communities in Winnipeg and remote communities in Northern Manitoba. 


Four evidence-based design steps have been or are in the process of being implemented to evaluate the significance of the design measures. Relevant documentation was reviewed including: health information on Canadian aboriginal communities, lighting effects on pre- and post-term infants and shift workers, acoustics for staff communication and concentration, patient sleep and pre-term infant hearing development, human factors in equipment and visual display screen use NICU and LDR planning typologies, Regional/cultural content on client identity Qualitative and quantitative data were gathered from subject matter experts and site visits to recently built NICU and labor/delivery rooms were conducted.


Currently, our team is creating mock-up and pre- and post-occupancy questionnaires for staff and patients to evaluate and compare any significant differences in patient and staff attitudes and outcomes.

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