Critical Care Units, Toronto Western Hospital

Toronto, Ontario

Client: University Health Network
Size: 30,000 sq.ft. (3,000 sq.m.)

Zeidler Partnership Architects recently completed the 30,000 sf renovation of the Toronto Western Hospital’s 2nd floor Fell Pavilion. This project included the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Neuro Step Down Unit (NSDU), Post Anesthetic Care Unit (PACU) and Same-Day Admitting. Located adjacent to the hospital’s operating rooms and above the emergency department, this suite is a programmatic block of 38 beds. Isolation and infection control, cost efficiency and the role of family support were key drivers of this renovation.

The department was created from over four different wings, originally built in various time periods, each with distinct infrastructure. The new design unites the wings and meets the hospital’s required high standards of community care and specialized services while creating strong connections to the rest of the facility. Cost efficiency was a priority, and the design utilized the main infrastructure, ensuring no significant new capital costs.

The ICU required 38 beds which required rethinking patient and staff spatial connections. A design incorporating eight separate pods responded to this challenge, creating strong program relationships while meeting operational budget requirements. Separation between these small pods provided isolation that ensures infection control.

A unique approach to the role of the family as key support in patient recovery was explored in the design of this project. A special environment was created for the families to reduce the level of stress due to the extended time spent in the department. A more efficient clinical operation was achieved by using separate clear way-finding and orientation, thus reducing the pressure on staff, as well as families.