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Nicholson Sheffield Architects Inc.

358 Talbot Street

London, Ontario

N6A 2R6

T. 519.673.1190

John Nicholson

Jim Sheffield

Gerald Gallacher

Walter Derhak

Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building

Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care

Planning and Design Consultants Team Lead

The two major mental health care facilities in London and St. Thomas are key elements in a renewed mental health-care program for Southwestern Ontario. Each facility accommodates a number of highly-specialized mental healthcare programs. 

Our firm was the compliance architect for each facility, establishing the design criteria and project requirements, illustrative designs and project-specific output specifications for each site. Our firm established a standard for how the hospitals were to be designed, including rooms for patients, provisions for safety, security, and wellness, and other aspects of design. These standards were adhered to by the Design Build Finance Maintain Consortium (which included the architects of record for each facility). We also ensured that these standards were met in the design and construction of the hospitals.

Our firm participated in the pre-qualification of proponent consortia, led the evaluation of technical submissions, and monitored compliance of the requirements throughout the Design Build Finance Maintain process of Infrastructure Ontario and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care. We also led the development of the site master plan for both sites, and coordinated the functional programmer in finalizing the functional program.

The London site, now named the Parkwood Institute Mental Health Care Building accommodates 154 beds of various specialized inpatient and outpatient care, as well as research programs. The program and design of the facility is based on a psychosocial rehabilitation model of care that places an emphasis on environmental factors to promote improvement through wellness and normalization. The building design requirements were developed by our team to support this initiative, with specific criteria relating to patient experience, clinical efficacy and operational efficiency.

The St. Thomas site, now named the Southwest Centre for Forensic Mental Health Care, has a forensic mental health program as its focus. It accommodates 89 beds, with forensic medium-secure programs. 

The finished projects have been recognized with Don Smith Commercial Building Awards.