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Superhospital to anchor health district in Montreal

Construction has started on the new "superhospital" in Montreal. Known as "CHUM," the French-language hospital is a massive complex covering two blocks in downtown Montreal between Viger and Rene-Levesque Boulevard, west of St-Denis. With an...


Artist's impression of CHUM hospital in downtown Montreal, just started construction.
Artist's impression of CHUM hospital in downtown Montreal, just started construction.

Construction has started on the new “superhospital” in Montreal. Known as “CHUM,” the French-language hospital is a massive complex covering two blocks in downtown Montreal between Viger and Rene-Levesque Boulevard, west of St-Denis. With an area of 268,000-m2, the Centre hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal replaces three existing hospitals and is to be the anchor of an entire new healthcare district. To see a video of the CHUM development, click here.

The consortium selected to design, build and maintain the hospital for the next 30 years is “CHUM Collectif” made up of British, Spanish, American and French companies. This group was the only proponent who could build the complex within the approximate $2-1 billion price tag that the government had assigned.  Canadian engineering consultants involved in the design include H.H. Angus, Pasquin St-Jean (Roche) and Groupe SM. The architects are Cannon Design of the U.S., DCYSA of Quebec, and Health Care Planners Infrastructure of Canada.

The complex will include patient care as well as teaching and research facilities. Phase 1, representing 85% of the work, will be completed by 2016. It includes the main blocks on the south and west sides which will house over 770 single patient rooms, 39 operating rooms, laboratories and a cancer centre. Phase 2 in the northeast sector incorporates ambulatory facilities, a library, and an amphitheatre, which sits as a rounded volume “nestled” in a garden. There will be “spectacular glazed spaces” in the complex and lots of other open spaces with views of the city. The design also provides separate circulation routes for the public and patients  and minimizes distances they might have to travel. Individual patient rooms are being provided in an effort to cut down on the spread of infections.

In terms of its urban design, the complex combines three large signature towers with, smaller elements that work at a community and street level scale. The Church of Saint-Saveur is being incorporated, with its spire. One of the first construction jobs was to deconstruct its facade, which began in March.