Mental Health and Addictions Centre

St. John's, NL

The new Mental Health and Addictions Centre will be an addition to the existing Health Sciences Center. It will include a 22,296-square-meter, six-storey, 102-bed hospital; a parking garage with space for 1,000 vehicles and a new 60-bed hostel to replace the Agnes Cowan Hostel.

Design Features

The Mental Health and Addictions Centre carefully provides a modern aesthetic that showcases open-air green cascading terraced courtyards that are oriented to St. John’s major arterial road – Prince Philip Drive.

The angled form of the inpatient tower has been designed to ensure rich daylighting of the patient spaces. The vast majority of patient and Hostel bedrooms will receive direct daylight, and the social spaces such as the lounges, television rooms, and dining rooms have been arranged to receive direct daylight regardless of the floor.

Connection to the Health Sciences Centre (HSC) and Campus:

  • The Facility is designed to make a simple, strong, accessible and direct connection to one of the HSC’s principal public spines and amenity areas.
  • The new site plan enhances and connects the natural amenity of the wetland to the pedestrian routes of the Facility and HSC.
  • The Facility has four connections to the HSC – to interconnect service flows, patient transfers, public connection and staff connection efficiently into corresponding zones of each building.

The Facility accommodates a new truck turnaround space at the existing loading dock, simplifying campus operations and improving logistical connections.The Mental Health and Addictions Centre has been designed to achieve LEED® Silver Certification.


The facility will maximize operational efficiency by: minimizing staff travel distances, optimizing energy efficiency through technical detailing, and delivering a complex set of programmatic requirements while keeping future flexibility in mind. Examples Include:

  • Implementation of Snow Melt systems at all of the terraces – improving year-round availability of exterior space
  • Optimization of the exterior envelope to reduce energy consumption
  • Placement of Elevator Cores – reducing staff travel distances and improving staffing efficiencies.
  • Efficient location of the Forensics Unit on the Ground Floor – improving safety and security for staff, patients and visitors
  • Construction of the Hostel on a single floor – Reducing staffing requirements for the Authority and improving operational efficiency

Local economic impacts

Over the course of construction, more than 400 jobs are expected to be created with 200 workers expected onsite at peak construction.

During the construction phase, Avalon Healthcare Partnership will:

  • Host a job fair for skilled labourers looking to work on the construction
  • Develop an apprenticeship training program for local apprentices
  • Develop a plan to assist with hiring tradeswomen to work on the construction site.