The design of the integrated cancer treatment centre, Centre intégré de cancérologie (CIC), as part of Quebec’s Laval University hospital centre, CHU de Québec-Université Laval, pays allegiance to the natural elements and surrounding architecture to create a wellness-focused facility.
Designed by a consortium of design firms, Groupe A, DMG, Lemay, Jodoin Lamarre Pratte, NFOE, and GLCRM architects, the centre is located at the Hôpital de l’Enfant-Jésus (HEJ) campus in Quebec City.
The CIC’s architecture, based on the themes of air and light, is restrained, and resembles the key characteristics of the existing buildings with its use of brick and continuity in the cornice lines. “The contemporaneity of the groupings is characterized by the desire to fill the project with light. The shades of ochre bricks, the pale mortar joints, and the white steel and aluminum components and cladding reflect light, which dances across the surfaces over the course of the day,” said Rémi Morency, partner, architect, and urban planner at Groupe A/Annexe U.
The starting point for the architectural development was the design of a green inner courtyard, surrounded by the oncology program. The aim was to provide pleasant reception areas, waiting rooms, traffic zones, care facilities, and work areas which promote health and healing. An abundance of natural light, outdoor views, green spaces, warm materials, colours, and art characterize the new healthcare space.
“The centre was designed to make the gardens visible from all levels. A system of rooftop patios and gardens was developed and refined in the inner courtyard to give it a human scale, so each treatment space benefits from a garden,” said Lucie Bégin, architect and director at Jodoin Lamarre Pratte architectes. “The concept of the healing garden is not new, and we have been working towards perfecting it for 20 years, adapting it to the context and scale of each project,” says Bégin.
A major component of the new complex was the requirement for the CIC to be integrated into the existing hospital complex and its urban context. The centre was built near the edge of the site to offer patients as much privacy as possible. Its volumes were designed to strike a balance with the residential character of Vitré Street to the east, and the more institutional character of the esplanade and basic research centre to the west.
A north-south traffic route connects the CIC to the future research centre and the critical care wing of the existing hospital. The CIC’s foyer marks the end of a long corridor which, like a timeline, starts in HEJ’s oldest buildings. This passageway is punctuated by hallways where different public traffic hubs are found, originating the themes of the interior design of each wing: earth, water, fire, air, and light.
A 3D pattern, composed of a multitude of interlocking small lozenges, inspired by the Art Deco turret of wing A, situated above the hospital’s main entrance when it was built, was developed to provide shade and privacy to the large glassed-in areas.