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08.13.14 – Shim-Sutcliffe Architects win Best Hospital Upgrade award for Sisters of St. Joseph residence

Toronto architecture firm Shim-Sutcliffe, founded by Associate Professor Brigitte Shim and architect Howard Sutcliffe, received top honours from the 2014 World Architecture News Healthcare Awards. Their project, a private hospital and home for the Sisters of St. Joseph which provides care facilities for the congregation's elderly nuns, won Best Hospital Upgrade 2014 - one of 3 top awards also including Best Built and Best Unbuilt projects. The building winds along the Don Valley ravine and extends off of a 19th century heritage house providing more space and light for the residents. Shim-Sutcliffe tackled the restoration of the heritage building as well as the integration of the modern extension, with sustainability as a top priority.

Geothermal heating and cooling, solar panels, green roofs and a sustainable and integrated storm water management system are key components of the project. A sustainable building was very important to the Sisters and guided the architecture firm's approach to the project. Ted Kesik, professor of building science at the Daniels Faculty and organizer of the Building, Ecology, Science, and Technology (B.E.S.T.) lecture series, was the sustainability consultant for the project. Other Daniels Faculty members were also involved in the project including Adjunct Professor Anthony Spick and Instructor David Bowick of Blackwell Engineering.

The jury for the awards consisted of a group of internationally acclaimed architects and healthcare specialists including BAM Architecture Studio's Brian Spence, Director of Global Health at AECOM John Hicks and Laura Lee, Chief Executive of Maggie's Cancer Caring Centres in the UK. The jury judged entries on a number of factors including originality, innovation, form and special quality, sustainability and context. The judges' criteria also included how the building enhanced conditions for patients, visitors, staff and the wider community. They were looking for a project to be able to tell a story, from the initial concept through to its completion. Shim-Sutcliffe's residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph met this criteria with the jury noting that this "unique project had integrity and a holistic approach, a well-deserved place amongst the winners."