HFKS Architects Inc.


Tom Baker Cancer Centre, Calgary

The Tom Baker Cancer Centre (TBCC) is attached to the existing Foothills Hospital.  The three-storey addition includes clinical spaces, patient day care areas, radiation therapy vaults, laboratories (teaching and research), library, administration areas and public spaces, including a new lecture theatre. Of critical note is the phasing (phases 1 and 2) which involved building new, decanting from existing, renovating existing and introducing new program spaces into the existing design and construction processes.

Phase 1 was the addition of two linear accelerator vaults, expansion for medical physics and renovations to improve patient care areas.  Phase 2 was the full expansion with the addition of three more linear accelerator vaults, medical day care, bone marrow treatments, staff offices.  In addition, significant areas of the existing clinic and research space were renovated. The TBCC project was constructed in a fully functioning hospital environment.

The unique octagonal linear accelerator vaults are located in the southeast portion of the basement level of the TBCC.  The terrain at the Cancer Centre slopes to the south east.  In order to protect the vaults and reduce the amount of shielding, the vaults were covered in earth and the soil was supported by a curving Allen Block retaining wall system (one of the largest installations in Calgary at that time).  Low maintenance and aggressive (ie: thorny) plantings were used in the landscaping over the vaults to provide a pleasing ground cover and discourage any unauthorized access to the area above the vaults.

HFKS provides the services for the five radiation therapy vaults replacement for the Tom Baker Cancer Centre in Calgary and Cross Cancer Institute (CCI) in Edmonton. This involved the careful relocation and sequencing of existing equipment, renovations to a radiation therapy vaults (one at a time) and the coordination and upgrading of services to support the new equipment. TBCC and the CCI have become the first cancer treatment facilities in Canada to successfully install the new True Beam linear accelerator by Varian.

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