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North Bay Parry Sound District Health 
North Bay, Ontario
58,000 square feet
Completed 2018
Services: Integrated interior design, furniture planning and design, wayfinding and signage design, art consulting
Best of Canada Award, Canadian Interiors Magazine, 2018
Ontario Wood Works Northern Ontario Excellence Award, 2019
“All of us at the Health Unit are ecstatic about our new building.
I look forward to coming to work each day.”
Dr. Jim Chirico, Medial Officer of Health

The North Bay Parry Sound District Health Unit is a publicly funded agency with approximately 150 staff working to promote health, prevent disease, protect from harm and prepare for emergencies within 31 municipalities in northern Ontario. Programs are delivered within the communities as well as through on-site public education and clinical services including sexual health, vaccine and preventable diseases, communicable disease control and genetics.

Planning a new facility, the Health Unit and Design Team were resolute in the goal to design a facility that is practical, welcomes the public and inspires towards healthy living, supports staff addressing stressful public health challenges, and symbolizes the value of health promotion to the community.

Inspired by the idea that “movement is life”, and working within strict budget limits, Mitchell Jensen Architects and Carlyle Design Associates developed integrated design strategies that include:

  • A transparent, two-story lobby to welcome and orient visitors, with dynamic lighting and prominent stairs

  • A douglas fir curtain wall that curves within to wrap the waiting area

  • Expansive glazing, views to landscape, and open spaces that promote orientation, connection and a sense of calm and well-being

  • Connection to nature reinforced by abundant wood and natural stone, continued with a quietly shifting palette of quality materials that inspire a sense of confidence and comfort

  • Work space alternatives including workstations, private rooms, lounge spaces and group settings for table-based and more casual meetings, shared work or socialization;

  • Sit-stand workstations clustered along spines running perpendicular to windows to maximize access to daylight, views and operable windows, and maintaining generous circulation and psychological space

  • Wood “work walls” that create landmarks in open offices, reinforce program zones, introduce informal seating and work space alternatives, and provide storage for program resources;

  • A “good value” filter that considered environmental and economic sustainability, durability, cleaning and maintenance and disposal;

  • Installations of over 30 remarkable works of art by local artists that inspire reflection and conversation – made possible through an anonymous donation and loans from the local public WKP Kennedy Gallery

See Art Consulting project page.

Photographs by Lisa Logan Photography

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