While no new hospitals have been built in Australasia using mass timber there are several examples in other parts of the world, with Canada having the most.
Prior to the advent of mass timber products like cross laminated timber making complete walls and floors possible in wood, the use of glue laminated beams and columns was common where architects sought to bring wood into a hospital environment using large wood elements in a public space to deliver biophilic elements for patients
The idea for the grove of timber trees flourishing in the atrium of Credit Valley Hospital’s Carlo Fidani Peel Regional Cancer Centre, in Mississauga, Ontario, grew out of visits by Toronto-based architect Tye Farrow to 30 cancer centres in North America and Europe. Patients told him they wanted fewer hotel-like amenities and more reasons to feel hopeful.
“We decided to create an environment that appeared to be alive and growing,” says Farrow, a senior partner at Farrow Partnership Architects. He made a few sketches and foamcore models for the 11,500-square-foot space before creating a triangular floor plan centered on four sprawling columns comprising Douglas fir glulam (glue-laminated) members.
Source: Farrow Partnership Architects
Image Credit: Ed-White-Photographics (Teck Acute Care Centre at BC Childrens Hospital and BC Womens Hospitla Health Centre)