Located adjacent to the brow of the Niagara Escarpment and immediately south and above downtown Hamilton, the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital has commanded a significant intersection between Hamilton’s urban and natural qualities since the 1870s. In this decade, to accommodate new mental health care models and meet the demand for dynamic new facilities, St. Joseph’s Healthcare initiated the redevelopment of hospital buildings in the site’s eastern sector. ORC commissioned SvN to define a complementary master plan for the entire hospital lands that harmonizes the site’s multiple uses and its built and natural landscapes. Future use of the site needed to address the existing site context which currently includes two distinct zones – the eastern sector which has a 1960s era hospital facility, and the western sector that contains elements of the 19th century asylum.
Our conceptual master plan seeks to maintain the modern diversity of uses while restoring a functional and physical cohesiveness to the property. Both objectives are achieved by building balance between the hospital and other uses, and between urban functions and the natural heritage.