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Site & Building Design

A unique building is required to effectively meet the needs of the children, youth, families and caregivers who will use the new centre.

21st Ave Closeup_web.jpg

This image is a conceptual interpretation of the proposed centre for health complexity, and the final design may differ.

The development will include:

  • A three-storey new centre for health complexity
  • 74-space daycare in a stand-alone building, run by a licensed childcare operator
  • An open green space, including a wellness loop and public art, with access for the community.

A high-level design for the site was developed for the development permit application for the City of Vancouver.  The design will now undergo further development in the next phase of the project. You can see more images of the preliminary design in the photo gallery.

If you would like to be involved in the public engagement process during the next design phase, please visit the Engagement page for details.

Project highlights

The building design will be based on the following principles, which are aligned with the services that the centre will offer:

  • Welcoming, calm, and non-institutional
  • Honouring the land — its history, present and future — in partnership with Host Nations and local residents
  • Connecting people to nature
  • Accessible and barrier-free 
  • Virtually connected to all of BC and Yukon 

The centre will include a number of innovative spaces tailored for children with health complexity and their families:

  • Welcoming patient and family spaces (consult rooms, quiet spaces, etc.)
  • Three-level accessible ramp and multi-storey atrium with views of the grove of trees
  • All Nations Space, Elder’s room and kitchen, and healing garden
  • Family kitchen and dining areas, with access to an outdoor patio
  • Teaching kitchen
  • Multi-purpose recreation room
  • Family resource centre
  • Access to the outdoors from all levels through courtyards and patios

Sustainable design measures

The project incorporates a holistic set of sustainable design measures. These include green mobility and transportation opportunities, water efficiency, energy efficiency, carbon emissions reductions, healthy and sustainable building materials, waste reduction, and a focus on indoor environmental quality.


The facility is required to achieve Gold Certification under LEED V4 for Healthcare Projects, as well as meet the requirements of the City of Vancouver’s Green Building Policy.

Mass timber

The centre will include encapsulated and exposed mass timber structural elements.  Mass timber is a low-carbon building solution that employs engineered wood products typically made of large, solid wood panels, columns, or beams.


The facility will be designed to achieve the Rick Hansen Foundation Gold Standard of Accessibility.

Passive House

The daycare will be designed to be certified to the Passive House energy performance standard.

Main access from Slocan Street

The main entrance to the centre will be from Slocan Street. A wide drop-off area will accommodate families arriving in larger vehicles carrying mobility devices such as wheelchairs.

Separate entrances for loading, deliveries, and daycare

The new centre design separates the various traffic streams. Service vehicles will use the Kaslo Street entrance, while patients and families will use the main entrance off Slocan Street. The daycare pick-up and drop-off will be from the lane in the north-west corner of the site.

Parking moved underground

There will be an underground parking lot at the new centre for patients, families, staff, and visitors. The lot includes an increase in the number of accessible stalls to serve the needs of patients and families. Some surface parking will also be retained on the Kaslo side of the site.

Cycling and transit options

Excellent transit and cycling networks in the area will make it possible for staff and visitors to choose sustainable transportation options. The site is close to Renfrew and Nanaimo Skytrain stations, and serviced by multiple bus routes. The Slocan Street bikeway connects to the protected Central Valley Greenway, which provides
cycling facilities to downtown. Eighteen bicycle spaces are proposed for the new centre, as well as bike storage facilities and showers.

Access to green space

The site design respects the mature grove of trees to the north of the proposed building, which is widely used and valued by local residents. The compact footprint of the proposed centre also opens up additional green space on the south-east corner of the site, at Kaslo Street and 21st Avenue.

Wellness path and healing loop

The proposed landscape design includes two main pathways for patients, families, and the community: a wellness path and a healing loop. Path elements may include outdoor play areas, seating, and accessible pathways. 

SOURCE: Site & Building Design ( )
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