Author: Alexandra Miller
The Greenhouse: Nature as Wayfinding
Studio: ARCS 4107 – Studio 7
Professor: Federica Goffi
Year: Winter 2021
The proposal for the new Welcome Centre places itself at the heart of the new Carling Campus of The Ottawa Hospital. The Welcome Centre is transected by a full-height atrium and, at its center, an enclosed greenhouse space. A celebrated ramp that wraps around it curates a welcoming and enjoyable space for visitors, employees, and volunteers. The underside of the ramp provides an opportunity to interact with the community, as local artists could use this space as their canvas. It serves as the central element and helps provide a distraction and sense of calm in a traditionally high-stress environment. The integration of nature into the hospital environment and the patient’s recovery is implemented with two systems of planters developed for different spaces and varying in width to indicate either public or private spaces seen from the facade. A double corridor circulation system is planned throughout, not only to provide for compartmentalization in a pandemic scenario but will also wrap around the edges of the courtyard, offering places of rest while circulating. The courtyards and central outdoor space bring nature inside the healthcare facility, and also create key viewpoints that will help people to know where they are in the building.