Being sick isn’t fun, especially if you’re a child. That fact was all it took for the firm selected to design the new Shriners Hospital for Children to decide to infuse the project with a touch of whimsy. The hospital is organized into eight areas, each featuring colours and attractions of a different region of Canada, from the Pacific to the Atlantic to the Arctic. From forests and beaches to hockey and marine navigation, everything is designed to lighten the atmosphere. A nursing station is transformed into a boat, an orca whale jumps out of a therapy pool and the floor facing a bank of elevators becomes a hockey rink. This playful approach serves a clear purpose. The imagery, vivid colours and sculptural elements all bring warmth to the hospital. The building’s interior is bright and airy, and scored of large windows invite natural light to filter deep into the heart of the structure. The welcoming figure of an inukshuk watches over the surgery floor, while light from skylights floods into the play and relaxation areas, where parents can enjoy a few minutes of quiet respite. Everything about the design is geared, as much as possible, to providing a positive experience for the children and families who have to spend some time at the hospital.