Movement, art, and nature inspired this new award-winning healthcare facility

Movement, art, and nature inspired this new award-winning healthcare facility

Opened after six years of study, planning and design, the North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit has moved in to its bright, welcoming new building. The new facility consolidates programs providing public health management and a wide range of services for a broad swath of northern communities.

Interior Design Team: Anne Carlyle, ARIDO and Alanna Drawson, ARIDO

Design Firm: Carlyle Design Associates

Architect Lead: Paul Mitchell, B. ARCH OAA FRAIC

Architecture Firm: Mitchell Jensen Architects

Photographer: Lisa Logan

North Bay 1
Photographer: Lisa Logan

Designed in thoughtful collaboration between members of the project team lead by Mitchell Jensen Architects, this highly functional building “brings public health into the public realm”, according to principal designer Anne Carlyle, ARIDO.

A site was purchased in North Bay that is easily accessible by public transit, bike paths and pedestrian routes to embody the Health Unit’s objective to promote healthy lifestyles. The design team and client shared a goal of designing a facility which is practical, reflects the Unit’s values, welcomes the public, inspires staff and visitors, and symbolizes the value of health promotion to the community. The idea that ‘movement is life’, fundamental to health, became a driving theme in this project.

Upon entry, movement is expressed by the expansive open atrium with prominent, gradual stairs, and discrete elevators. The repeated elements of circular shaped lighting and Douglas Fir curtainwall continue this rhythm throughout the building. Expansive glazing and views of the landscape help to calm anxious visitors and to aid wayfinding, while the connection to nature is further reinforced by materials including abundant wood and natural stone.

North Bay 2
Photographer: Lisa Logan

Behind the scenes, staff are provided with a variety of workspace options including workstations, private rooms, lounge spaces and various group settings for table-based and more casual meetings, shared work or socialization. Work walls and workstations run perpendicular to windows to maximize natural light, views, and windows, and are adaptable to employee needs with sit/stand options, adjustable storage, and task lighting.

North Bay 3
Photographer: Lisa Logan

Art by local artists is placed throughout the space. Fifteen works were generously donated by an anonymous donor, while another fifteen are on loan through a partnership with the local municipal gallery. The pieces inspire reflection and conversation, adding dynamic interest to the stunning facility.

This project was awarded a Canadian Interiors Best in Canada Award for the Institutional Category. It has also been recognized with an Ontario WoodWorks Award. Congratulations to Carlyle Design Associates and Mitchell Jensen Architects!

Anne Carlyle

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