Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre

Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre

Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre

Integrating State-of-the-Art Mental Health Care into an Existing Health Campus

The first of its kind in Canada, the Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre is set to lead the way for revolutionary solutions to devastating brain disorders including stroke, dementia, ALS, and mood and anxiety disorders.

The design team focused on three main objectives: A community face that is “more than skin deep;” responsive interiors for all ages; and, greatly enhanced natural light despite a tight urban footprint.

The facility’s exterior is designed as a translucent envelope that welcomes natural light and the community with its transparency while providing privacy where required. The main entrance to the upper level ambulatory space is grounded with a light-infused, double-height lobby that separates inpatient and public flow for efficiency in care and intuitive paths for visitors. The generous, south-facing corridor provides expansive views from common therapeutic spaces and a seating area that overlooks the Burk Brook Ravine along the southern edge of the campus. This seating area was intentionally designed to serve as an area for quiet contemplation for visitors or informal collaboration between a variety of building users.

Corridors are conceived as therapeutic links, rather than circulation, infused with natural light throughout the open common areas and secured with extensive switchable glass, balancing security with a sense of openness to mitigate anxiety and create a more welcoming atmosphere. Focused, saturated color elements juxtaposed with neutral and wood finishes combat long, gray winters for patients and visitors while easing orientation for older patients.

A Home for Behavioural and Mental Health

The new facility is also home to the Murphy Family Centre for Mental Health, a state-of-the-art centre of excellence for inpatient and ambulatory mental health. The program of services incorporates treatment, education and research including Alzheimer’s, other forms of dementia, neuropsychiatry, and advanced diagnostics in mood disorders.

The ground floor supports a 38-bed inpatient mental health unit, which is designed around a recovery model of care, and includes direct access to secure exterior therapeutic courtyards for both adult and adolescent patients, as well as a separate and secure courtyard for pediatric intensive care unit patients. The upper two levels accommodate include adolescent inpatient unit, a unit for youth bi-polar disorder, sleep clinics, neuromodulation and a Youth Fresh Start Program.

The project is designed to accommodate future expansion vertically to an additional four floors while connecting the structure to the main hospital circulation spine within its dense urban-like campus setting. The design includes an integrated building services tunnel connecting the Central Utilities Plant to the new Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences building and extending further into the campus in order to facilitate future building expansion, as the current systems were at capacity.

Garry Hurvitz Brain Sciences Centre
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

Toronto, ON

118,285 sf (10,989 m²)