The BC Cancer Agency Centre for the North provides Northern British Columbians with cancer treatment and diagnostic services as part of the Northern Cancer Control Strategy. Located on the University Hospital of Northern British Columbia site, the cancer centre is connected to the hospital through a heated pedestrian pathway.
The centre followed the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model for financing, building and maintenance. Public and private sector partners delivered the project, successfully creating a LEED ® Gold certified, healthy healing facility. A First Nations expert was consulted during the design and construction process to ensure that their culture is showcased throughout the facility.
Wood use was maximized to visually represent the strong culture of building with wood in Northern British Columbia and as a natural choice in healthcare facilities. Research is showing that incorporating natural, organic materials into built spaces can improve health and well-being. Additionally, wood as a building material is considered hypoallergenic. Its smooth surfaces are easy to clean, preventing buildup of particles common on softer finishes.
Wood’s inclusion is visible throughout the centre. The exterior features western red cedar cladding and a wood canopy at the main entrance. Rounded heavy timber post and beam construction utilized for the wood canopy is inspired by First Nations architecture. Inside the centre, exposed glue-laminated timber beams are used in the main entrance atrium. Wood wall paneling furthers wood’s presence in the health facility.