Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Experiential Graphics and Wayfinding
Entro Design Team
The recent space transformation project at the Princess Margaret Cancer Center (PMCC) in Toronto is a powerful example of how the physical environment can prioritize the patient experience and support the healing process. When designing this 40,666 square-foot ground floor renovation, Siamak Hariri, Founding Partner of Hariri Pontarini Architects (HPA) envisioned a beautiful, uplifting space that could “empower patients and their families through the use of light, landscape, art, and materials.” The goal for PMCC was to re-envision what a patient care environment can be. In contrast to the cold, institutional feel common to many healthcare facilities, HPA drew inspiration from hotel and hospitality experiences, which offer visitors a comfortable, home-away-from-home experience.
We took our cue from the architectural vision in the design of the wayfinding and donor recognition program, using colours, graphics, and forms to achieve a soothing, restorative atmosphere.
The Murray Street entrance is proud and confident, announcing itself with big, bold letters. Still, the entrance is warm and welcoming with its bronze tones and soft illumination.
Nature themes and biophilic features are known to promote healing; therefore, gentle, rounded forms and natural materials such as wood and stone are used in the interior design. A soft colour palette of green and cream tones add to the nature-themed, relaxing atmosphere throughout the interior. We continued this theme in the environmental graphics, with green leaf motifs on privacy panels. A pattern of smaller leaf graphics adapted from the UHN logo appear on windows and films, subtly linking the facility to the larger UHN network.
Donor contributions are crucial to PMCC and greatly appreciated by staff, patients, their families, and the wider community. A recognition wall close to the Pharmacy features a listing of donor names and a message of thanks.
More than tests and treatments, the PMCC amenities address the needs of patients and their families holistically and encourages them to feel at home.
"The design goal was to prioritize the patient experience—emphasizing that the patient is at the centre of their individual treatment plan, and are partners in their own care. Beautiful, uplifting spaces empower patients and their families through the use of light, materials, landscape and art to create a calm and welcoming environment. The space is now fully accessible and easy to navigate." Tracey Walker, Managing Editor, Healthcare Design, September 13, 2021. https://healthcaredesignmagazine.com/projects/photo-tour-princess-margaret-cancer-centre/