Author: Arkoun Merchant


Studio: ARCC 4302 – Conservation Studio 4

Professor: Federica Goffi

Year: Winter 2020

Project Description

“The forest is not a resource for us, it is life itself. It is the only place for us to live”

Building on the existing vision for The Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus, this studio was tasked with designing the Welcome Center (WC) managed by Volunteer Resources. The approach taken by this project focuses on creating a design that addresses the factors of physical and mental healing. By creating a pleasant environment in the WC, these individuals will be uplifted as they begin their healing process.

To put that into perspective, the main Welcome Centre features the Canopy atrium in which a large “Tree structure” grows from the centre – creating a sheltered canopy for those below. Draped fabric interweaves between the branches creating the impression of a tree in full bloom. As sunlight from above enters the space, it is filtered by the fabric creating a gentle glow to those below. At the base, a recessed lounge offers a private nook where one can take a moment to de-stress and enjoy their surroundings. 

The Biophilic use of Architecture throughout the Welcome Centre breaks from the institutional design common among hospitals. These decisions were inspired by teachings from Heliotherapy – healing using sunlight – in an effort to begin patient recovery from the moment they enter the building.