A “little place with a big heart” captures ARIDO Award of Merit

Stantec announced October 25, that is has captured a prestigious Award of Merit from the Association of Registered Interior Designers of Ontario (ARIDO) for the Women’s Auxiliary Volunteers (WAV) PlayPark at SickKids Hospital in Toronto. The WAV PlayPark is a volunteer-run space for the siblings of young patients who are at the hospital for treatment. Stantec’s design team accepted the award at the ARIDO Awards Gala, held in Toronto on October 24.

“The WAV PlayPark is a little space with a big heart – and it certainly captured the hearts of our entire design team,” says Laurena Clark, Stantec’s interior design lead on the project. “As designers, we always empathize with, and put ourselves in the position of, the people who will use the spaces we design. But with this project, we realized we needed to get to go even deeper to really understand what the children who come to PlayPark are going through. We were doing so much more than designing a ‘space’. We were creating an experience for those kids and families.”

For more than 40 years, the Women’s Auxiliary Volunteers have operated the PlayPark as a place of respite and play. The existing space needed a refresh, so with accessibility, safety, and security in mind, Stantec’s designers injected a feeling of whimsy and created opportunities for exploration, relaxation, and engagement for a wide age range of children. The new design also features zones inspired by nature – including a forest, a lake, a canyon, and hills – to bring a park setting to children who are indoors for long periods of time.

ARIDO was established in 1934. Since 1982, the association has held an annual awards program for all registered members. The ARIDO Awards is one of the most highly regarded honours in the interior design community. Showcasing excellence, innovation, and originality in interior design, the awards bring superior design to the forefront each year.


Editor’s Note
“Designing healthcare spaces for kids: Infusing a sense of exploration and curiosity” by Laurena Clark and Olivera Sipka of Stantec, will be featured in the November/December online edition of PRISM.

Laurena Clark has focused her work on healthcare interior design for more than 10 years. Laurena considers the users—from patients to family members to staff—and works to create an environment that supports them as well as encourages better health outcomes.

Olivera Sipka is focused on healthcare design and has a special interest in developing the design of pediatric facilities as well as designing for behavioral health and senior care. Making sure that her designs always have a positive impact is Olivera’s goal.