Southwest Centre wins tops design honours

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The award winning Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care
The award winning Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care*

St. Joseph’s Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care received the 2014 International Mental Health Design award, presented by the International Academy for Design and Health.

The award was presented to Parkin Architects Limited in joint venture with architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson, at a gala. 

“We were pleased to work with St. Joseph’s to develop this great new facility that acknowledges the importance of creating appropriate environments for people living with a mental illness, “ says Cameron Shantz , Principal, Parkin Architects Limited. “Through the introduction of natural light and views, therapeutic courtyards and single patient rooms, we believe that the building supports rehabilitation and can help to transform the lives of all those who receive care and work there.”

Located in Elgin County, Southwest Centre opened its doors in June of 2013, replacing the now-closed Regional Mental Health Care St. Thomas. With 84 beds the hospital is devoted to caring for people with a mental illness who have also come into contact with the criminal justice system. Staff and physicians within various forensic programs assist patients toward recovery, where through intensive work with care teams, patients are able to develop the skills and supports needed to successfully reintegrate back into their communities. 

Tom Tillman, Principal at the firm architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson adds “The dedication our entire design team brought to this assignment to produce a meaningful and high quality facility has now been recognized by the worldwide design community. What an honour to receive this award, and truly what an honour to be a part of the story at St. Joseph’s Health Care London.”

Built to top Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards, the building was specifically designed to support and enhance and the patients’ rehabilitation journey– balancing privacy, security, safety and healing spaces. The layout of the facility encourages social interaction, education and skill building and provides living spaces where privacy and dignity are valued. 

“St. Joseph’s is very proud of Southwest Centre and congratulate Parkin Architects and Tillmann Ruth Robinson on this award,” says Sandy Whittall, former Vice President, Mental Health Services. “We worked together to design a building with a healing atmosphere that would help to facilitate a recovery oriented environment for patients and a welcoming place for families and visitors. We are honoured that our facility has been recognized at an international level.”

This is the second award Southwest Centre has received since opening to patients in 2013.

The hospital was named a winner of a Don Smith Commercial Building Award in its category, institutional healthcare earlier this year. 

Take a virtual tour

To view the unique design touches of the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health, take a virtual tour.

* Photo courtesy of Architect(s) of Record: Parkin Architects Limited in Joint Venture with architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson. Photographer: Shai Gil Fotography
We were pleased to work with St. Joseph’s to develop this great new facility that acknowledges the importance of creating appropriate environments for people living with a mental illness.