"Foothills Medical Centre" in Canada

Foothills Medical Centre


Foothills Medical Centre is the biggest hospital in Alberta located in the city of Calgary in Canada and Administered jointly by Alberta Health Services and the University of Calgary, the Foothills Medical Centre is Alberta’s largest healthcare facility, providing advanced healthcare services to over two million people in Calgary, southern Alberta, southwestern British Columbia, and southern Saskatchewan.


The hospital includes the University of Calgary Cumming School of Medicine, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, as well as the Special Services Building (where most other medical services are provided) and the Tom Baker Cancer Centre, which was renamed the "Cancer Centre", and is a leading centre in Alberta for cancer treatment and research. The large site also features Grace Women's Health Centre, which specializes in women's health, the Health Sciences Association of Alberta, as well as both the North Tower and South Tower, which offer many outpatient services.


The head office of Libin Cardiovascular Institute of Alberta is located on the 8th floor of the Foothills Medical Centre. The TRW Building was also added to the Health Sciences building, which was completed in late 2005. In addition, the new McCaig Tower opened in October 2010 with 93 inpatient beds, 36 bed intensive care unit (only 25 funded by the Government of Alberta), 21 short-stay beds (a total of 150 additional beds), as well as 8 operating rooms. In November 2011, the newly designed Intensive Care Unit (ICU) was awarded the 2012 Design Citation for being "one of the best in the world". The neighboring Alberta Children's Hospital and west side of the University of Calgary campus are accessible from FMC via West Campus Boulevard.


Consisting of 14 interconnected buildings, 6 multi-levels parking structures plus surface lots, and constructed over 50 years, the Foothills Medical Centre is a daunting place for visitors, particularly in the heightened emotional state that constitutes a hospital visit. Cygnus has worked closely with senior Foothills leadership to develop the principles and long-term vision for how people should navigate the site and access hospital services. As part of a core leadership team, Cygnus works with patient advisory groups and an internal task force to help identify priorities, find resources and explore solutions to the challenges patients and staff face daily. Our work showcases what can be achieved by working closely to identify challenges, prioritize initiatives and deliver results over a multi-year partnership.


Helping visitors, patients and staff navigate the site is important to operational success. To make connections easier to understand, Cygnus developed the Foothills Trail; a tool that takes an otherwise massive and undifferentiated set of buildings and clearly divides them into distinct sites. The paths between buildings are similar to the interconnected lines of a subway network. As with the London Underground or New York Subway, visitors can travel almost anywhere with the right helps. This became the design inspiration for the Foothills Trail. While building interiors change drastically, the assertive color and geometry of the signage provides a unifying element throughout. Colorful floor-to-ceiling vinyl applied directly to wall surfaces creates a visual system that can be modified or expanded as needs change.


Large site directories utilize simplified maps to present information tailored to the visitor’s current location. Iconography, including building naming and colors are relied on to communicate an overwhelming amount of information in a straightforward, easy-to-follow manner.