Envisioned as a place that will foster both physical and emotional well-being for women, the future CIBC Breast Assessment Centre at the Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre in Hamilton boasts such a unique, patient-focused design that it is receiving international accolades.
The Centre, designed by Zeidler Partnership Architects, won the International Future Health Design Award at the 8th Design & Health World Congress and Exhibition held last month in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
“The International Future Health Design Award is a huge honor for the architects and the planning team,” says Carol Rand, director of systemic, supportive and regional cancer programs at the Juravinski Cancer Centre. “We knew we wanted to build a centre that is as non-clinical feeling as possible.”
Scheduled to open in 2013, the CIBC Breast Assessment Centre will streamline breast cancer screening and diagnosis for women who have a breast abnormality or are at high risk of developing the disease. The Centre, funded through a $5-million fundraising campaign, will be one of the most comprehensive facilities of its type in the region. It will provide support to women of all ages from across south-central Ontario and will be one of the only facilities in Canada to offer genetic testing for those with a family history of breast cancer. Patients referred to the Centre will undergo a complete diagnostic assessment in a single visit, with a final diagnosis and a treatment plan available in just five days.
Visitors to the new Breast Assessment Centre will discover a bright and expansive yet warm and inviting space, complete with gardens and soothing water features.
Tarek El-Khatib, senior partner with Zeidler Partnership Architects, said the architects first considered the psychology of the patients when creating the design for the Centre, rather than focusing on the structure of the building itself.
“We considered what it would be like from the moment the patient walked in the front door of the building, to when they walked into an examination room,” says Tarek. He says the natural elements and reflections of water should help to soften the experience and lessen feelings of anxiety.
“We want women to feel comfortable and know that they are in a centre of excellence where they will receive the best possible care,” adds Carol. “Many people have been touched by breast cancer. They want to have this type of facility in their community.”
To learn more, visit www.hamiltonhealth.ca.