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For Juan Jose Cruz Martinez, looking after his two-year-old son is his favourite extreme sport

Juan oversees the design and construction of a first-of-its-kind centre in Canada for children and youth living with health complexity​.
portrait of Juan Jose Cruz Martinez
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The new centre is scheduled to open in 2028 at Slocan Street and 21 Avenue in Vancouver, and will become a new program of BC Children’s Hospital. Juan joined the Slocan Site Redevelopment Project team in June 2022.

What excites you about the proje​​ct?

This year, we are working with IBI Group, our architects, to finalize the building design. I’m very excited by the opportunity to work with so many different experts — internally and externally —​ who have specialized knowledge that’s informing the design. This includes families and former patients, clinicians, operational staff, Indigenous partners, and neighbourhood residents. I’m a real advocate for collaboration and engagement.

​​What are you most pass​ionate about?

I am passionate about having an impact on how health care is delivered. I also love working on complex projects, and this project is indeed very complex, because we’re designing and building something that doesn’t exist yet in Canada. This project will make a real difference in the lives of children and youth living with health complexity, and their families, and that makes me feel really good about the work that we’re doing.

How do you un​​wind from the stresses of wo​​rk?

I enjoy activities that challenge my skills and require my full focus in the moment. Skiing is one of my favourite winter sports, and every season, I work on getting a little better on expert terrain. During the summer, I enjoy mountain biking. Living on the North Shore, I am fortunate to be able to ride or ski with talented people that I can learn from. My very favourite extreme sport is looking after our two-year-old son.

​What w​​​ere you doing before this role?

I trained as an architect, and have been practicing for over 15 years. I began my career in Spain, then moved to Australia, and I now make my home in North Vancouver. I specialize in the delivery of complex projects for health-care, residential, and commercial sectors. I’ve worked on Google’s mass timber offices in California, health-care projects in Australia, and the Teck Acute Care Centre at BC Children’s Hospital. The last three years, I worked with one of the world leaders in sustainability and mass timber design.  I'm thrilled that the new centre at the Slocan site will include mass timber.

What is mass timber?

Mass timber​ "uses state-of-the-art technology to glue, nail, or dowel wood products together in layers." The results are large structural panels, posts, and beams that are used as building materials. Mass timber is a sustainable alternative to high-emission materials such as concrete and steel.​ Using mass timber in the health-care context is unique and it’s one of the innovative aspects of this project. ​​

​Learn m​​​ore

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