Peace Arch Hospital: Bringing healthcare capacity to White Rock, BC

Fraser Health Authority

Year Completed

Phase 1- 2022


Fraser Health Authority


White Rock, BC

Construction value

$68.2 M


26,150 sf


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Improving patient outcomes through a new clinical services design

Peace Arch Hospital provides critical healthcare services to the communities of White Rock and South Surrey in British Columbia. The region’s population, of which 52% of residents are age 55 or older*, is estimated to grow from 109,000 people in 2016 to over 131,000 by 2030. This hospital expansion and renewal project was therefore vital to ensure Peach Arch continues to accommodate its aging population and steadily increasing demand for its services.




Maximizing the site’s potential

After successfully developing the hospital’s master plan with the Fraser Health Authority in 2012, our Healthcare Team was selected to design a contemporary building housing a new emergency department. Originally built in the 1960s, the existing facility was undersized and outdated, and needed to be modernized to current healthcare standards to better serve the needs of its burgeoning community.

Our challenge was to maximize the site’s potential by creating as much medical space as possible and improve operational efficiency, service delivery, and the overall user experience within the hospital while balancing the varying needs of patients, their families, and staff.



Using the latest in 3-D technology

Our team identified the gaps and inadequacies of the existing facility and recommended the scope expand beyond the emergency department to include new operating rooms and a medical device reprocessing department (MDRD). As these latter two care areas were similarly outdated and undersized, we developed a business case advocating for the inclusion of this additional scope through the addition of a second storey.

Our approach was therefore to design an expanded healing environment that promoted expedient recovery, reduced stress for visitors, and contributed to the physical and psychological well-being of patients and caregivers alike.



Humanizing the patient, family, and staff experience

Humanizing the patient, family, and staff experience began by leveraging our expertise of biophilic design principles, which has long been proven to reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety, aid with boosting overall mood, and help to promote physical healing. As such, our interior design concept drew upon the origin story of the community of White Rock and the deeply rooted connection between its people and the surrounding environment, bringing the outside into our design.

A grand entrance canopy with wood columns greets all users to the Emergency Department and treated wood paneling throughout creates a welcoming first impression to the building while allowing visitors respite to the outdoors. We maximized the use of glazing to offer every patient room and staff lounge areas access to natural light, while careful planning ensured privacy and comfort for patients and families along with adequate space for staff to rejuvenate through the creation of a staff lounge on the second floor of the extension.

The expansion also led to efficiency improvements in the hospital’s delivery capability while humanizing the patient, staff, and visitor experience. For example, the expanded emergency department doubled the number of treatment spaces and features an area dedicated to children and families. The MDRD was expanded and relocated closer to the new operating rooms and surgical suites to create direct links and an optimum flow of resources and staff within the hospital. The interior design offers comfort for patients, as well as friends and family members, for both short visits and prolonged stays.



Providing a sense of confidence

The Peace Arch Hospital Redevelopment has modernized the hospital’s service delivery, increased patient, and staff capacity, and improved the community’s access to a higher standard of care. The emergency department increased from 24 to 50 treatment spaces, the surgical suite increased from three operating rooms to five, and the MDRD increased from 4,200 sf to 14,000 sf. Direct links between these departments, each featuring the latest in medical equipment and technology, have ensured the optimum flow of resources and staff for the first time. The facility’s contemporary design – with its exterior complementing the familiar look of the surrounding neighborhood, and interior offering views of nature across ample treatment and lounge space – soothes some of the typical anxiety visitors experience upon entering a hospital environment. The resulting outcome has provided staff, patients, and their loved ones with a greater sense of confidence and a better human experience when providing or receiving care at PAH.

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