Winnipeg, Canada


The Health Sciences Centre (HSC) is one of the largest facilities of its kind in Canada, employing over eight thousand people and occupying over thirty-nine acres of land in central Winnipeg. In December, HSC opened its newly redeveloped Women’s Hospital, a facility designed by Architecture 49 and Parkin Architects, focused on women and new mothers.

After previously developing the wayfinding signage standards & methodology for the Health Sciences Centre, Entro was tasked with applying these standards while creating custom signage, for the facility’s six floors and parkade.

Through public consultation, the HSC identified three principles to inform design: be a place to serve the unique and diverse health-care needs of women through the life cycle; a place to advance care, through excellence in research and education; and a place that is welcoming, respectful, calming and peaceful. Our goal was to serve this client vision and the interior design intent to be “feminine, sensitive to the needs of women, warm to the touch and gently exhilarating to the eye”.

For the majority of the wayfinding program, we continued the minimalistic, monochromatic colour palette found at HSC, to complement the large-scale thematic graphics and provide the clarity and efficiency so necessary in a healthcare setting.

In the newly amalgamated neonatal (NICU) areas, we applied modest signage to help establish the aesthetics of each pod’s environment, each with a unique colour system. The look and feel of signage in these areas echoes the cubic pattern on the building’s façade, with a design that nods to the to the periodic table of elements to reflect HSC’s focus on research and education.

The NICU unit of HSC delivers approximately half of the children born in Winnipeg as well as those from outside the city, and continues to be a place where women receive outstanding care.

Material choices also support the building’s target of LEED Gold Certification.